The group stage of the AFCON Cote d'Ivoire 2023 came to a close on Wednesday night, paving the way for highly anticipated knockout stage clashes. The group stage witnessed thrilling encounters, shocks, records, and passionate fans, setting the stage for intense battles in the knockout phase.
Defending champions Senegal will face tournament hosts Cote d'Ivoire in a marquee clash. Despite a shocking 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea in their final group game, the Elephants advanced to the knockout stage and now face the formidable Senegal, who have maintained a perfect record so far.
Nigeria and Cameroon, two African football powerhouses, will collide in another blockbuster encounter. Both teams had uneven group stages but remain formidable opponents with rich footballing histories.
Underdogs Equatorial Guinea, after an undefeated run in Group E, will attempt to cause another upset against Guinea. Namibia, making their first-ever knockout stage appearance, face a challenging match against two-time quarterfinalists Angola.
Key Fixtures to Look Out For:
Nigeria vs. Cameroon
A showdown between two giants hoping to end a decade-long AFCON trophy drought. The match is set for Saturday, January 27, at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
Cape Verde vs. Mauritania
Equatorial Guinea vs. Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, group toppers, take on Guinea, aiming to overcome inconsistent form. The match will be held at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium on Sunday, January 28.
Angola vs. Namibia
Mali vs. Burkina Faso
Egypt vs. DR Congo
Despite an underwhelming group stage, Egypt's pedigree makes them formidable opponents for DR Congo. The game is scheduled for January 28 at the Laurent Pokou Stadium.
Senegal vs. Côte d'Ivoire
Host Côte d'Ivoire faces a tough test against defending champions Senegal. The game will be played at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium on January 29.
Morocco vs. South Africa
The knockout stage promises pulsating action and drama as heavy favourites and plucky underdogs clash for a spot in the AFCON quarterfinals.