AFCON 2019 - Who will lift the African Cup of Nations’ trophy as Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisian and Algeria head to the semi-final stage?
The quarter-final was a tough stage for both the victorious and defeated teams.
Madagascar had an impressive debut at the 2019 African Cup of Nations but Tunisia kicked them out. South Africa couldn't contain the Super Eagles, while Senegal overpowered Benin and Algeria trampled The Elephants of Ivory Coast in a penalty shootout.
Who do you tip to go to the finals and lift the trophy? I ask.
AFCON has reached its most competitive stage. The quarter final matches played on Tuesday and Thursday saw an introduction of the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) for the first time in African football. The technology would eventually play a role in giving South Africa’s Bafana Bafana a much-needed goal against Nigeria.
The South Africans had earlier given a good record of themselves against the host, Egypt. Their sensationalism and spirited attack on the field made the South Africa versus Egypt match one of the most entertaining in the tournament.
The Bafana Bafana didn’t bring the energy from their match with Egypt into their match with Nigeria and the Southern Africans were a bit guarded in their attack.
Super Eagled star, Samuel Chukwueze broke the deadlock in the 27th minute to put Nigeria ahead before a struggling Bafana Bafana equalized in the 71st minute with a Bongani Zungu goal.
In the 89th minute, Nigeria pulled a fast one when a corner kick was netted by defender William Troost-Ekong. The goal sealed the hopes of the boys from South Africa who weren’t as daring with the Nigerians as they were against the Egyptians.
The 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations saw a more diverse group of teams with a better representation from the East African countries. Although all three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania didn’t advance past the group stage, it was a time to showcase what East Africa football is all about.