Saturday 12, 2013
2014 WCQ Play off 1st leg: Burkina Faso Vs Algeria – Ouagadougou
2013 Africa Nations Cup runners up Burkina Faso hosts the desert warriors of Algeria in the first leg of the 2014 Africa World Cup qualifiers with the visitors seeking back-to-back World Cup appearances after also taking part in the 2010 event in South Africa.
Algeria go into the game as favourites over the two legged tie to deny the Burkinabe their maiden appearance at the World’s biggest soccer event but in Ouagadougou, the hosts are expected to offer stiff resistance.
“This is a very crucial stage and winning comfortably at home will be very important for us before we go to Algeria,” said Burkina Faso coach Paul Put.
“We shall need the support of the 12th man who are the fans because getting a comfortable win will be one step in the World Cup before we go for the return leg.”
Algeria have named German-based striker Mohamed Amine Aoudia to replace Inter Milan’s Ishak Belfodil in their 26-man squad for Saturday’s clash.
French-born Belfodil is dropped after winning just two caps in as many months after a lengthy bid to persuade him to play for Algeria was followed by a lack of game time in Serie A and mediocre performances at national team level.
Aoudia returns for the first time since the African Nations Cup finals at the start of the year after scoring three goals in recent game for Dynamo Dresden.
The French-based pair of Faouzi Ghoulam and Foued Kadir have also been recalled after being dropped for the last World Cup qualifier against Mali last month.
Algeria breezed through what looked a tricky second round group that also included Mali, Benin and Rwanda, winning five of their six games to comfortably top the table.
Burkina Faso, on the other hand, only secured their place in the final round on the last day of the group phase after a 1-0 home win over Gabon took them above Congo.
These two sides have met on 17 previous occasions, with Algeria winning eight of those to Burkina Faso’s four and another five drawn.
Their last competitive meeting was in 2001, when Burkina Faso won 1-0 in a 2002 Nations Cup qualifier at home, though Algeria won a friendly match 2-0 in Blida in June this year.