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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AFCON hosts Cote d’Ivoire & defending champions Senegal set to clash

Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

THE full complement of the teams that have made it to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has been confirmed after Mali, South Africa, Morocco, and the DRC booked their places in the knockout stage this Wednesday.

The group stage of the 2023 AFCON produced everything expected of a continental tournament from shock results to an avalanche of goals and colourful fans turning up in large numbers at match venues.

The group stage, however, concluded this Wednesday, with Mali, South Africa, Morocco, DRC as well as the four best third placed teams securing their slots, setting up some highly anticipated knock-out stage encounters.

In the peak of the round of 16, defending champions Senegal clash with tournament hosts Cote d’Ivoire.

The Elephants suffered a shock four-nil thrashing by Equatorial Guinea in their last group game, but still advanced as one of the four best third placed teams.

They now face a daunting task of overcoming an in-form Senegalese side yet to drop points.

Two more African heavyweights will collide when Nigeria face Cameroon.

The two teams had uneven group stages but remain continental powerhouses.

Elsewhere, Morocco topped their group without conceding and will look to continue their fine form against South Africa.

After surprisingly winning Group A undefeated, underdogs Equatorial Guinea will try to cause another upset against Guinea.

Despite an underwhelming group stage, Egypt’s pedigree as the most successful nation makes them dangerous opponents for DRC.

Other intriguing clashes will see Mali take on Burkina Faso, while Cape Verde battle Mauritania.

The round of 16 kicks-off this Saturday with Angola taking on Namibia at 7pm before giants Nigeria and Cameron clash at 10pm.

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