The dust has settled after the thrilling group stage, and the AFCON knockout rounds are upon us! Eight teams remain, but only four will progress to the coveted semi-finals. Let’s take a closer look at the mouthwatering quarter-final clashes:
Nigeria vs Angola:
- Super Eagles Soar? Nigeria, unbeaten so far, faces a potential upset against Angola. Despite Nigeria’s dominance on paper, Angola proved their resilience in the group stage, snatching a crucial draw against Tunisia. Can Lookman and Osimhen guide Nigeria to victory, or will Angola spring a surprise?
- Palancas Negras on the Hunt: Led by experienced midfielder Herenilson, Angola will aim to exploit any Nigerian gaps. Their defensive solidity and counter-attacking threat must be respected.
DR Congo vs Guinea:
- Leopards Roar or Syli Nationale Soar? DR Congo boasts individual brilliance with Mbemba and Bolasie, but Guinea counters with teamwork and tactical discipline. Expect a close tussle in this battle of contrasting styles.
- Can Kaba Continue to Shine? Guinea’s Morlaye Kaba has been a revelation, scoring twice in the group stage. Stopping him will be crucial for DR Congo’s defensive plans.
Mali vs Ivory Coast:
- Elephants Charge or Eagles Take Flight? The most anticipated clash! Ivory Coast, despite a coaching change mid-tournament, will rely on experienced names like Zaha and Kessie. Mali, unbeaten and boasting firepower in Traoré and Doumbia, seeks to continue their impressive run.
- Home Advantage for the Elephants? The match being played in Ivory Coast adds another layer of intrigue. Can the home crowd roar the Elephants to victory, or will Mali silence the stands with their flying Eagles?
This is a wide-open tournament with no clear favorites. Nigeria and Mali seem in better form, but underestimating any team at this stage could be costly.
Join the Discussion:
Who do you think will reach the semi-finals? Share your predictions, thoughts, and excitement for these crucial matches in the comments below! Remember to keep it respectful and enjoy the beautiful game!