Gambia/Burkina Faso: Paul Put Qualifies Burkina Faso for Nations Cup

Former Gambia national team coach Paul Put has qualified Burkina Faso to the African Cup of Nations in only his second continental assignment.

He was deemed as not the right man to secure the nation its maiden AFCON qualification and sacked three years into his four-year contract. But just a couple of months later he was contracted as the head coach of the Stallions on a three-year deal on better "terms". Paul Put replaced Paulo Duarte, who was sacked after a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations, and the 55-year-old who was chosen from a list of 12 candidates was given the task of qualifying the Stallions to the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.

The Stallions needed to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg when they were humbled by a Central African Republic side who defeated five-time African champions Egypt over two legs in the first round qualifiers. And with the second leg in their own backyard the pressure was on Burkina Faso to deliver the goods in hope of denying the CAR of their first African Cup of Nations campaign.

The Wild Beasts were having none of it, however, as they grabbed a vital away goal just seven minutes into the game when David Manga brought the game to the hosts to take a 2-0 aggregate lead after a first leg 1-0 win from Bangui last month. Manga's effort seemed to provide the spark needed for Burkina Faso to fight back. They got the equalizer eleven minutes through Alain Traore.

The scoreline was turned on its head when Paul Put's team took the lead through the veteran, Moumouni Dagano, who converted a penalty in the 40th minute. It was a wicked and unforeseen twist of the tale when a stoppage time goal by Traore handed Burkina Faso a 3-1 win to edge out CAR on a 3-2 aggregate, sending the hosts into celebration.

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