Burkina Faso, playing at the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations for the fourth time will take on North Africans Tunisia in the Group B opening match at the Stade Cheikha Ould Boidiya in Nouakchott on Monday.
Surprisingly, Tunisia, despite being one the powerhouses of African football are making their debut at the Under-20 tournament. Both teams will look for a favourable and strong start to the tourney, each looking to perform as best as they can.
The Young Stallions come into the tournament with a hope of performing better than their last outing in 2019 where they bowed out of the group stages without winnning a single match after suffering group stage losses at the hands of Ghana, Mali and Senegal.
But they will be looking at the tournament with an eye of hope as apart from the top two finishers, the best two third placed teams will progress to the quarter finals and are thus charged to get a win from the start to put them in a better position.
Burkina Faso’s best performance at the tournament was in 2003 when they reached the final and finished fourth after losing the bronze medal match.
Burkina Faso booked their ticket to Mauritania after reaching the final of the WAFU Zone B qualifiers where they lost 2-1 to Ghana. They had finished second in Group A after a 1-0 win over Benin and two draws against Togo and Niger who topped the group.
They beat Côte d’Ivoire 4-1 in the semis before losing to the Ghanaians in the finale.
Meanwhile, Tunisia are looking to start their campaign on a high despite this being their first ever experience at the youth tournament.
They qualified for Mauritania after finishing second at the UNAF U20 tournament which they hosted in Rades. They dreew with Algeria and Morocco before beating Libya to earn a ticket to the final tournament alongside Morocco who finished top in the four-nation tournament.