By Durotimi David Owoeye

After three weeks of gruelling, scintillating and exciting footballing artistry and wizardry characterized by late goals and upsets that saw heavyweights falter and underdogs deliver, the pretenders have finally been separated from the contenders, and the tournament has come to the business end.

Hitherto, traditional African football powerhouses like Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia were all eliminated in the Group Stage; defending champions, Senegal, 2022 World Cup semifinalists and pre-tournament favourites Morocco, and seven-time AFCON winners, Egypt were all eliminated in the Round of 16.

The host country, Cote d’Voire who sacked their coach, Jean-Louis Gasset after the group stage, and are now being managed by one of their ex-players, Emerse Faé are still in the tournament courtesy of multiple “resurrections” in the Group Stage, the Round of 16 and the Quarter-Finals.

The Quarter-Finals pairings were very intriguing and brought the anticipation and excitement to a crescendo with FOUR former champions paired against FOUR sides which had never lifted the AFCON trophy before.

However, in the end, the “Big Boys” triumphed with 1980, 1994 and 2013 champions, NIGERIA; 1974 champions, Democratic Republic of Congo; 1992 and 2015 champions, Cote d’Voire and 1996 champions, South Africa making it to the Semi-finals.

With exactly one week to go, the remaining action is as follows:

SEMII-FINALS (Wednesday, February 7)
1: NIGERIA vs South Africa (Stade de la Paix, Bouake, 6pm)
2: Ivory Coast vs DR Congo (Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, 9pm)

THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF (Saturday, February 10)

Loser Semi-final 1 vs Loser Semi-final 2 (Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan, 9pm)


Winner Semi-final 1 vs Winner Semi-final 2 (Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, 9pm)

After all is said and done, MAY MY FAVOURITE “BIG BOY”, NIGERIA TRIUMPH 🙏💪✌️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *