The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is nearing its end, with the first quarter-finals on Saturday. Cameroon, the hosts, will be hoping to capture their sixth title and their first on home soil. However, the competition is fierce, and even if they succeed, the route to fame will not be simple. Let’s take a look at who may make it to the AFCON 2021 semi-finals.
Gambia’s journey comes to an end
Cameroon booked their semi final slot, thanks to a Toko Ekambi double in the second half. Buoyed by the home fans, Cameroon will be looking to make it six continental titles. The hosts are Betway favourites to go all the way to the finals.
Tunisia eliminated by a 10-man Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso came second in their group and lost to hosts Cameroon by a single goal after two penalty kicks were awarded in quick succession. Following that, they won convincingly against Cape Verde and drew with Ethiopia. Burkina Faso qualified for the quarter-finals after winning a penalty shootout against Gabon in the last 16.
Tunisia struggled in the group round, losing to Mali and Gambia, but advanced as one of the best third-placed teams thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Mauritania, the tournament’s biggest win.
In the round of 16, Tunisia avenged themselves by shockingly defeating a more fancied Nigerian team that had been undefeated thus far.
Going into the semi final clash, Betway Zambia odds were in favour of a Tunisia win, but a late first half Ouattara strike was all Burkina Faso needed to see off the North Africans. Ouattara would be given his matching orders in the 83rd minute after picking a second yellow card, but the Burkinabes held on to advance.
Morocco to advance since 2004
Egypt and Morocco might have made up the final, but they are forced to face off in the last eight. The Pharaohs won by a single goal twice against underdogs and fell to Nigeria. They did, however, defeat Ivory Coast in the last 16 and hence deserve to go to the quarter-finals. Morocco won over Ghana and Comoros’s tenacious debutants, but lost against Gabon.
The Atlas Lions overcame Malawi 2-1 in the round of 16 to advance to the next round. Egypt and Morocco are so similar that it takes a lot of effort to tell them apart. Egypt advanced to the semi-finals of the 2021 Arab Cup, while Morocco were eliminated in the last eight. The Pharaohs, on the other hand, had easier opposition in Jordan, and it took them longer to defeat them. Algeria, the eventual winner, narrowly defeated the Atlas Lions on penalties.
It will be a tight North African clash, and you can bet on the eventual winner with Betway, with numerous markets to pick from.
Senegal to the semis
Senegal finished second in their group with only one goal, a last-minute penalty. They went on to win 2-0 against a Cape Verde team that had been reduced to 10 and then nine men. They are, however, unbeaten at the end of the day. Equatorial Guinea has emerged as a big killer following penalties victories against Algeria (and Sierra Leone) and Mali. This is going to be a nail-biter. Despite their unimpressive performances, Senegal is more likely to win. Even though Equatorial Guinea has a chance, their stronger squad and recent experience in the knockout stages of competitions give them a little advantage.