The wheat has been separated from the chaff. The AFCON 2019 semis are here and promise to serve up mouth-watering showdowns between Africa’s finest. Who will book their spot in the final two on Sunday? Here are the Things to look out for in the AFCON semi-finals. Bet on AFCON here.
Clash of titans: Algeria v Nigeria
These two teams have demonstrated that they will have a say on who wins this year’s edition. The Super Eagles’ road to the semi-final hasn’t been an easy one. After an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Madagascar in the group stage which saw them finish second, they encountered some obstacles but were able to overcome them. Wins over Cameroon and South Africa weren’t smooth by any means. They had to scrap and earn them. Now, they face an Algerian team which has been the most impressive in the tournament. The Desert Foxes are unbeaten and in all their matches, they’ve lived up to the expectations. However, after beating the Ivory Coast on penalties, they face another giant of African football. This will probably be one of the biggest matches in the competition and is expected to be a spine-tingling affair.
Race for the Golden Boot
Sadio Mane, Odion Ighalo and Adam Ounas are all tied on three goals. All of them failed to find the back of the net in the quarter-finals. In 2017, three goals were enough to win the Golden Boot. At this stage of the competition, goals will be hard to come by. However, Senegal’s Premier League Golden Boot winner Mane will be licking his lips given his team will be facing probably the weakest team remaining, Tunisia. Junior Kabananga won the 2017 Golden Boot. Who will it be this time?
Senegal’s chance to play in their second-ever final
Senegal have only ever reached the final in 2002, which they lost to Cameroon. Since then, they’ve been the nearly team, reaching the semis twice and the quarter-final two times. They’ve also endured dismal moments in the competition, crashing out in the group stages on three occasions and also failing to qualify for the 2010 and 2013 editions. With their talented squad for this year’s edition, they look the part. They’ve impressed from the first match. Will they keep up the good performance when they face the Carthage Eagles in the semi-final?
Tunisia’s unbeaten run to be halted?
Tunisia won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 but since then, they’ve failed to make it past the quarter-finals at every attempt until this year. Senegal will be tougher opponents for the Eagles of Carthage but at the same time, nobody wants to play the underdogs. The Lions of Teranga will not go into Sunday’s match confident of easily beating the North Africans. After ending their quarter-final hoodoo, can the Eagles go a step further?