AFCON 2013 Final: Who gets the trophy?

Afcon_Cup_Trophy 1By Our Sports Gurus – Chimuka Moono Hanyama in Lusaka and Emmanuel Tholosi in Itali

Nigeria versus Burkina Faso from Group C. Both teams met at the start of the championship and, with the ‘help’ of a very bad pitch, shared the honours with a draw. That result was the best the Stallions have ever achieved playing against Nigeria at all levels in the history of African football.

Before then, both countries had only met once, in the 2002 AFCON, and Nigeria prevailed.

This has given most Nigerians the confidence that Burkina Faso are not about to re-write the established tradition of always losing against the Super Eagles. That’s why the Super Eagles may have the slight psychological edge at this final hurdle.

But these Stallions look different!

At AFCON 2013 they have fired the imagination of all Africans. History could be in the making if Burkina Faso can now do away from home what the country could not do in 2002 when it hosted the championship.

With the manner the team has played, and particularly their dramatic performance in their last match against Ghana to get to the final, everyone has woken up to the real possibility of this team winning. The Eagles can depend on history and under-rate them at their own peril.

If the present setting were to be a movie it could not have been better scripted for suspense, excitement and drama. In Aristide Bance, the Burkinabe have a one-man fighting machine; a big, bold, clumsy but deadly forward, whose performance on the night could give Burkina Faso the slimmest chance of taking away Africa’s most coveted football trophy.

However, the Super Eagles have grown through the rounds of this championship and now look like genuine champions. They are now within touching distance of the trophy, just as we predicted all along. The team has played, in their last two games, some of the best and most entertaining attacking football in the championship.

They have now settled down to play like potential kings, reminding everyone why football is described as ‘the beautiful game.’

The Supper Eagles have won the Championship twice while the Burkinabes may just join the Chipolopolo – Zambia in African history by wining the title for the first time. Just like Zambia last year, they were also seen as underdogs.

When all is said and done, the best team will emerge as the champions of AFCON 2013 tomorrow night February 10, 2013 in South Africa. For now, we have to wait and see.