After guiding the ‘Stallions’ of BurkinaFaso to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations final appearance, Belgian coach, Paul Put minced no words that even poor officiating by Tunisian referee, Slim Jedidi could not stop his brave charges galloping to the final after the 3-2penalty win at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 42-year-old Tunisia referee, Slim Jedidi, in charge of his third game in the tournament, had a poor game, making numerous controversial decisions in the fiercely fought encounter against the West African countries.
He awarded Ghana’s Black Stars a 13th minute soft penalty and then denied Burkina Faso a penalty but opted to hand gifted midfielder, Jonathan Pitroipa marching orders for a second bookable offence.
“It was a tough game but we deserved to win even though the decisions of the referee did not match the commitment shown by the 22 players on the pitch. We were upset with the penalty given to Ghana but I told my players at half time that we need to forget about it and continue to fight,” Put said.
He added: “We knew Ghana have a lot of offensive players and we needed to maintain our shape and position. I am happy with the win but I am more happy for the players and the people of Burkina Faso,” Put said Burkina Faso have since “become interesting to a lot of people,”
Ghana’s Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah said he is disappointed with the end result for his youthful side.
“We created some chances but penalties are unfortunate, anything can happen. When we were leading we should have make sure we defended well and at this level, you cannot make mistakes we committed in the goal we conceded,” he said.
Appiah said the Ghanaian team is still young and they have learnt their lessons going forward.
The Ghanaian players cried a river of tears after Burkina Faso goalkeeper, Daouda Diakate dived to his left to save Emmanuel Agyemang Badu penalty after striker, Aristide Bance cheeky penalty had put the ‘Stallions’ on course to a 3-2 penalty victory and a place in the Cup final for the first time in their country’s history.