The round-robin stage of the African Cup of Nations ongoing in Gabon is over. The knockout stage begins this weekend.
The journey to who becomes Africa’s best started with 16 teams in four groups, after match day 12 (Wednesday January 25) two of the best from each of the teams face off as we wait for the number to be further whittled down to four.
There are three North and West Africa African sides still in the race with two Central African countries completing the list.
A match will be played in each of the four host venues – Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem. This is despite complaints about the quality of pitches at the tournament.
AFCON 2017: Quarter final fixtures
Burkina Faso (Group A winners) vs. Tunisia (Runner up in Group B) – Libreville
Senegal (Group B winners) vs. Cameroon (Runner up in Group A) – Franceville
DR Congo (Group C winners) vs. Ghana (Runner up in Group D) – Port Gentil
Egypt (Group D winners) vs. Tunisia (Runner up in Group C) – Oyem
This stage is no respecter of points but goals will matter a lot. At the end of the group phase (24 matches), a total of 52 goals were recorded. Of the teams remaining Senegal, Tunisia and DR Congo all scored six times in the group stage.
The host nation Gabon could not make it past the group, days later the Champions Ivory Coast also crashed out after bagging just two points with two goals in Group C.
After the weekend action, four teams will advance to the semi-finals which will be played in mid week Wednesday February 1 and Thursday February 2, the two winners advance to Saturday’s final whiles semi-final losers play a third-place fixture before the final on February 4. Who wins the trophy?