The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is wide open after a stunning round of 16 that threw up major upsets and eliminated traditional powerhouses.
South Africa’s dominant 2-0 victory over heavily favoured Morocco stands as the biggest shocker, sending ripples through the tournament and setting the stage for an unpredictable quarter-final stage.
Hosts Ivory Coast booked their place after a dramatic penalty shootout triumph over defending champions Senegal, adding another layer of intrigue to the knockout rounds.
They will now face Mali in a West African showdown, with both teams aiming to reach their first AFCON final in decades.
On the other side of the bracket, DR Congo and Guinea emerged victorious against Egypt and Equatorial Guinea, respectively, proving that no team is safe in this year’s tournament.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria, with their 2-0 win over Cameroon, are the tournament’s sole remaining representative from the “Big Five” nations, and they face a dangerous Angola side that dispatched Namibia with ease.
Quarter-Final Clashes (all times GMT)
Friday, February 2nd
- Nigeria vs. Angola (Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan, 5pm)
- DR Congo vs. Guinea (Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, 8pm)
Saturday, February 3rd
- Mali vs. Ivory Coast (Stade de la Paix, Bouake, 5 pm)
- Cape Verde vs. South Africa (Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro, 8pm)
With fallen giants littering the path to glory, the remaining eight teams have a golden opportunity to etch their names in Africa Cup of Nations history. Who will rise to the occasion and claim the ultimate prize?