Sunday, May 26, 2024

AFCON 2023: Semi-finalists set for fierce battle

Nigeria are now the highest-ranked team in the tournament.

• February 4, 2024
Super Eagles, Bafana Bafana, Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo
Super Eagles, Bafana Bafana, Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo [Photo: CAF online]

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition has entered the semi-final stage with four teams set for what analysts believe will be a fierce battle for slots in the final.

On Saturday, hosts Cote d’Ivoire came from a goal down to throw out Mali, while South Africa eliminated the stubborn Cape Verde 5-3 on penalties.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria became the first country to book a spot in the semi-finals with a composed 1-0 victory over the hard-fighting Angolans, while DR Congo came from behind to beat Guinea 3-1.

Nigeria, who are now the highest-ranked team in the tournament, will lock horns with perennial foe Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake, by 6 p.m. (Nigerian time).

It will be hosts’ Cote d’Ivoire against DR Congo at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, in the second semi-final fixture by 9 p.m. (Nigerian time).

Semi-finals, Wednesday (Feb. 7): Nigeria vs South Africa (Stade de la Paix, Bouake, 6 p.m.; Cote d’Ivoire vs DR Congo (Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, 9 p.m.)

The third place play-off will be played on Saturday (Feb. 10) between the loser of semi-final 1 and the loser of semi-final 2 at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan, by 9 p.m.

The final will be played on Sunday (Feb. 11) between the winner of semi-final 1 and the winner of semi-final 2 at Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, by 9 p.m.

(NAN)

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