By Ngain Steve Jordan
After twelve days of group stage action and two days of rest, the journey to the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, glory resumes today in the land of the pyramids, Egypt.
The group stages coughed up lots of incidents from the goals, the misses, the blunders and the tactics. Not to forget the fans in the stands, the permutations as to who qualifies for the knockout not forgetting the empty stadia.
But with the group stage over, eight out of the 24 teams were eliminated while sixteen teams also slugged it out in the round of 16 to secure places in the quarterfinals.
Algeria eliminated Nigeria and Senegal knocked out Tunisia. That sets up the Algeria vs. Senegal final of July 19. On July 17, Nigeria’s Super Eagles sored above the Tunisian Carthage Eagles to win the third place play-off in Cairo. The real deal is when Algeria make a case for their second AFCON trophy and as Senegal chase a first.
Algeria have recorded only a draw in six games at the AFCON. The Fennecs are in a race to go unbeaten in the competition but that will mean having to beat Group B neighbours, Senegal. It will mean beating Senegal for a second time having beaten the Teranga Lions on the second day of action by a lone goal.
Algeria, like Egypt and Morocco, ended the group phase without conceding a goal and with maximum nine points – they also beat Kenya and Tanzania by two and three goals respectively.
Aliou Cisse’s charges have used a lone goal victory in all three matches in the knockout rounds, beating Uganda, Benin and Tunisia in the round-of-16, quarter and semi-finals respectively.
The final hurdle is with the July 19 match up against Algeria. The Senegalese will be looking to avoid a second defeat at the hand of the Algerians.
At the close of the day, it would be a case of repeat or revenge, but more so, for two familiar managers.
What a match we have on the Cards!!
🇸🇳 Vs 🇩🇿