The Africa Cup of Nations enters a crucial but exciting phase, the last 16. The draw has been done and there are interesting fixtures in store, including Nigeria v Cameroon. Who will be in the last eight? Here are Things to look out for in AFCON Round of 16. Bet on AFCON here.
The Pharaohs to extend winning streak
The Egyptians will be looking to maintain a perfect start in the tournament when they meet South Africa in the last 16 in Cairo. The hosts won all their three matches in the group stage and are aiming to go all the way and emulate the winning sides of 2006, 2008 and 2010. In 2017, they went to the final, eventually losing to the Cameroonians. Bafana Bafana qualified as one of the best third-placed teams. However, they’ve not really turned up after winning just one game. Quality-wise hosts Egypt are much better and would give Stuart Baxter’s men sleepless nights. Therefore, the Pharaohs should easily book their place in the last eight barring any upset.
Can Uganda do East Africa proud?
With Kenya and Tanzania already knocked out of the tournament, Uganda will be the only East African country remaining in the tournament. Kenya and Tanzania failed to get out of Group C. The Uganda Cranes will have a huge mountain to climb when they face giants Senegal. Sebastian Desabre’s boys have shown a lot of promise from their group matches and seem like they aren’t afraid of a challenge. Senegal are definitely better and stronger but Uganda have a team that can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the continent.
Clash of West African titans Nigeria v Cameroon
It will a clash of titans when AFCON holders Cameroon face the three-time winners Nigeria in the last 16 of the tournament. Both teams had an up and down group stage campaign. Nigeria finished second in Group C behind an unfancied Madagascar side who inflicted an embarrassing 2-0 defeat on the Super Eagles. Cameroon had a solid but less impressive group stage campaign. However, none of that matters now since it will be two of Africa’s biggest footballing nations going at each other. There will be a lot of quality from both sides and a pulsating encounter is in store.
Can Madagascar go all the way?
The island nation has been the story of the tournament so far. Tipped to exit the tournament in the group stages, they have upset the odds, winning their group and recording their biggest win over Nigeria in their last match. Madagascar face DR Congo, who made it to the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams. Confidence is booming in the Islanders’ camp right now and DR Congo shouldn’t underestimate them when they meet on Sunday.
A chance for redemption for Algeria and Ivory Coast
Giants Algeria and Ivory Coast massively underwhelmed in the 2017 tournament where they exited in the group stage. This time, there are lofty expectations on their shoulders. Some are expecting either side to go all the way and win it all. Since they won the tournament in 1990, Algeria have been perennial underachievers and the closest they came to winning it was in 2010 where they reached the semis. Ivory Coast ended their long drought when they won the tournament in 2015. Their golden generation of Didier Drogba, Yaya and Kolo Toure, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho got to the final in 2006 and 2012 but failed to get over the hump. This is a chance for both the Elephants and the Desert Foxes to redeem themselves.