AFCON 2023 Quarter-Finals

01/02/2024 | ,

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) has reached a crucial stage, with the quarterfinals set to pit eight formidable teams against each other in a quest for reaching the semi-finals. The matchups promise intense battles, showcasing the prowess and determination of each nation. Let’s delve into the exciting fixtures that await us on 2 and 3 February 2024.

AFCON 2023 Quarter-Finals

Before we look at the upcoming four AFCON 2023 Quarter-Finals here is a quick recap of the Knockout Stage results:

  • Angola 3 – 0 Namibia
  • Nigeria 2 – 0 Cameroon
  • Equatorial Guinea 0 – 1 Guinea
  • Egypt 7 – 8 DR Congo
  • Cape Verde 1 – 0 Mauritania
  • Senegal 4 – 5 Ivory Coast
  • Mali 2 – 1 Burkina Faso
  • Morocco 0 – 2 South Africa

AFCON 2023 Quarter-Finals – Qualified Teams

Therefore the following teams have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations Quarter-Finals:

  • Nigeria
  • Angola
  • DR Congo
  • Guinea
  • Cape Verde
  • Ivory Coast
  • Mali
  • South Africa

AFCON 2023 Quarter-Finals Overview

The 2023 AFCON Quarter-Finals will take place on 2 and 3 February 2024:

Friday, 2 February 2024

  • Nigeria vs Angola
  • DR Congo vs Guinea

Nigeria vs Angola – Prediction

Pre-tournament expectations placed Nigeria as a dominant force, especially with the reigning African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, leading their attacking line. However, throughout the tournament the Super Eagles have only scored 5 times, with Osimhen just scoring once. Instead they have taken a more defensive stance, with a formidable back three of Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, and William Troost-Ekong that has not conceded a goal since their opening match against Equatorial Guinea. Although their scoring rate has been modest, Nigeria’s defensive resilience has so far been the highlight of their campaign and they comfortably won againgst fellow heavyweight Cameroon.

On the other side there is Angola. The team has emerged as the underdog of the AFCON 2023 and now aims to reach the AFCON semi-finals for the first time. They topped their group, defeating heavyweights such as Algeria along the way. Angola’s attacking threats, Gelson Dala and Mabululu, have outscored the entire Nigerian squad at the tournament, emphasising their potential in front of goal.

That is to say, the first AFCON Quarter-Final between Nigeria and Angola will be a great encounter. While Nigeria’s Osimhen remains a key figure, Angola’s underdog status and the goal-scoring prowess of Dala and Mabululu add an intriguing dimension to the fixture. We expect therefore an entertaining and closely contested match. In the end, considering Nigeria’s defensive resilience and the overall experience of their squad, we think the Super Eagles are likely to emerge victorious in a hard-fought battle.

DR Congo vs Guinea – Prediction

DR Congo’s journey to the quarterfinals is unconventional. They drew all four of their group stage matches but always displayed resilience, bouncing back after conceding in three of their group-stage games. Then DR Congo faced Egypt and eliminated Egypt in a nail-biting penalty shootout. What a game it was. Despite not winning a game yet in regular time, DR Congo’s ability to recover and their attacking prowess make them a formidable opponent. The trio of Yoane Wissa, Cedric Bakambu as well as Silas Katompa poses a potent attacking threat, capable of causing problems for Guinea’s defence.

Three teams from Group C made it into the last 16 but Guinea is the only team that secured their spot in the quarterfinals with a dramatic stoppage-time winner against Equatorial Guinea. Mohamed Bayo’s goal secured their first-ever AFCON knockout-phase win. Despite facing fitness concerns around key player Serhou Guirassy, Guinea’s resilience and Bayo’s timely contributions have propelled them forward. With only three goals scored in the tournament so far, Guinea will be banking on Guirassy’s form to bolster their attacking capabilities and enhance their chances of advancing.

As the two teams face off in the second AFCON Quarter-Final, we expect an overall great while closely contested game. The outcome could be either way but we see a slight favour of DR Congo.

Saturday, 3 February 2024

  • Mali vs Ivory Coast
  • Cape Verde vs South Africa

Mali vs Ivory Coast – Prediction

Mali’s journey in AFCON 2023 has been characterised by an impressive unbeaten streak. The Eagles topped Group E and showed a good performance against Burkina Faso in the Round of 16. Their confidence, forged from a strong pre-tournament run, positions them as formidable contenders against Ivory Coast. Moreover Mali’s standout player Yves Bissouma could be back in action in this AFCON Quarter-Final game. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder could be key to success if he’s able to play.

Hosts Ivory Coast were one of the favourites to win the AFCON 2023. They started the tournament well and won their opening game. Afterwards they went through a rollercoaster journey that saw them on the brink of elimination after a 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea. However, in an unexpected turn of events, when Morocco beat Zambia, they managed to go through to the last 16, now facing Senegal. Against all odds the Elephants saw a remarkable comeback and emerged victorious after penalties (4-5).

Now the tournament hosts face undefeated Mali in the quarterfinals. Despite Mali’s commendable performance, Ivory Coast holds the advantage of playing at home and stands in our opinion as the favourite in this crucial encounter.

Cape Verde vs South Africa – Prediction

The last AFCON Quarter-Final between Cape Verde and South Africa is a clash of contrasting narratives.

On one side there is Cape Verde, unbeaten and impressive throughout the tournament. They topped Group B, which included powerhouses Egypt and Ghana, securing their place in the knockout stages early. Then Blue Sharks continued their success with a 1-0 late penalty victory over Mauritania in the round of 16.

In contrast, South Africa had an initial setback to its campaign with a 2-0 loss to Mali in the first group game. Bu Bafana Bafana rebounded emphatically, scoring six goals without conceding in subsequent matches, including a remarkable 2-0 win against Morocco. Especially the win against 2022 World Cup semi-finalist Morocco in the round of 16 stunned the continent and shows the teams resilience and determination

While Cape Verde has proven their mettle against strong teams, South Africa’s recent victory against Morocco establishes them as formidable opponents. This AFCON Quarter-Final could swing either way. However, considering the Blue Sharks’ consistent form and ability to navigate challenges, they might edge out South Africa with a narrow victory

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That is to say, we have 4 exciting AFCON Quarter-Finals ahead of us on the route to the semi-finals and onwards.

While speaking of the semi-finals let’s have a quick look at the possible matches:

  • Nigeria or Angola vs Cape Verde or South Africa
  • Mali or Ivory Coast vs DR Congo or Guinea

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