Best Odds Center
best odds centre button
Click here!
Live Sport
watch live tv button
Click here!
to watch
Click here!
Live Scores
play watch Live Score button
Click here!

AFCON 2023: Bruised hosts, Elephants of Ivory Coast, land in Teranga Lions of Senegal's den for a spot in Q/finals

Posted : 29 January 2024

It remains to be seen whether the host Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire will survive yet another blockbuster showdown against the defending champions, the Teranga Lions of Senegal, in the knockout phase of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

After narrowly escaping elimination in the AFCON preliminary stage due to a shambolic performance in Group A, the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire face another tough challenge against Senegal, a team that convincingly defeated them in the group stage. This match could spell the end of the road for the host team given their current form.

For the defending champions, the Teranga Lions of Senegal, it is time to resume their title defense as they take on Ivory Coast at Charles Konan Banny Stadium.

The winner of this clash between Africa's football heavyweights will advance to the quarterfinal, where they will face either Mali or Burkina Faso, who will square off on Tuesday evening in Korhogo.

It has been just over a year since Senegal defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 at the CAF African Nations Championship, and they will be looking for a similar performance this time to move one step closer to defending their AFCON title.

While Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde claimed headlines as surprise packages in the group stages, the Lions of Teranga were superb over their first three matches, emerging as the only team in the competition to win all three group stage matches.

They kicked off their AFCON campaign with a solid 3-0 win against Gambia in the first match, followed by a convincing 3-1 victory over Cameroon in the second game. They capped off the round-robin stage with a 2-0 win over Guinea.

With just one goal conceded in the group stages, the Lions of Teranga have the joint-best defensive record in the competition, alongside Nigeria. They have only conceded one goal in their last seven matches in all competitions.

Senegal, under Aliou Cisse's management, will be aiming to secure their fourth consecutive win in the competition, a feat last achieved by Algeria in the 2019 edition when they went on to lift the trophy.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast's AFCON journey has progressively worsened, and they are only still alive in the competition due to Ghana's poor form, allowing them to qualify as the final third-placed team.

The Elephants made a bright start to the tournament with a 2-0 opening-round win over Guinea-Bissau. However, they failed to build on that performance and were defeated in the second match by Nigeria. A shocking 4-0 loss in their final group stage match led to the sacking of manager Jean-Louis Gasset by the Ivory Coast Football Federation.

Despite the setbacks, they qualified for the round of 16 as the fourth-best third-placed team, and interim coach Emerse Fae has been tasked with keeping The Elephants' AFCON title hopes alive.

While indications suggest that the hosts may struggle against the Teranga Lions, history favors Ivory Coast, having won both of their previous encounters against Senegal in this competition (1965 and 1986).

Marseille's Pape Gueye left the field due to injury in Senegal's 2-0 win over Guinea, and his absence from training raises doubts about his participation in this match.

Attacker Abdallah Sima is ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a thigh injury, meaning Strasbourg striker Habib Diallo will likely lead the line, flanked by Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr.

With a new coach in charge, changes are expected for the hosts, but Sebastian Haller is likely to remain sidelined due to an ankle injury. Serge Aurier and Nicolas Pepe may be hopeful of returning to the starting 11, with Pepe potentially facing questions about his fitness level after returning from injury.

This is only the third meeting between Senegal and Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, with the Elephants winning both games in 1965 (1-0, third-place play-off) and 1986 (1-0, group stage).

Senegal and Ivory Coast met last year in the African Nations Championship group stage, with the Lions of Teranga winning 1-0. This match will be a final before the final, as Ivory Coast aims to overcome the solid defending champions Senegal, who are determined not to play captive. Only time will tell who will emerge as the eventual winners in this cagey fight.



Hot Topics

close button
Please fill captcha :