Sudan will be looking for their first win in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations when they take on Burkina Faso at the Bata Stadium on Monday night.
The Falcons of Jediane started their campaign with a 1-0 loss against Ivory Coast and kept themselves in the competition by twice coming back from a goal down to play a 2-2 draw against Angola.
Group C is currently led by the Ivorians with six points, followed by Angola on four points, then Sudan with a point, while Burkina Faso are still searching for their first point.
A win would see Mohamed Abdallah’s side level on points with Angola, should the Black Antelopes lose against Ivory Coast.
The nation which will join the Elephants in the quarterfinals would then have to be decided on goal difference, something both sides will have to keep in mind.
Sudan have not won a match at the Africa Cup of Nations since their 3-2 win over Ghana in the final back in 1970. However, Abdallah believes they can achieve that by being solid at the back and creating scoring chances.
“I’m trying to minimise the small mistakes of our inexperienced defenders playing against high-quality strikers,” he said.
“I think we are improving. To survive in this competition you have to win, so (against Angola) we played more offensive.”
Burkina Faso, on the other hand, have already been eliminated from the competition after losing 2-1 against Angola and 2-0 against Ivory Coast.
Whether or not they will fight to defend their pride remains to be seen following their coach’s outburst against the country’s football federation whom he blames for their early exit.
The Stallions were unable to use foreign-born players like Herve Zengue, Stephane Agbre and Abdou Razak Traore due to registration problems.
“If the federation don’t change, I go,” Paulo Duarte told BBC Sport. “I started this Nations Cup without starters because I had problems with passports and other things.
“In professional football, this is not possible.”
Sudan will be without Ahmed Al Basha, who has been unable to play due to injury, but will be counting on Mohamed Bashir, who netted a brace against Angola, to continue with his goal scoring form.
Coach Duarte, on the other hand, may give unused players a chance in their last match of the tournament and 16-year-old Bertrand Traore, younger brother to Alain Traore, could become the third youngest player in Nations Cup history.