After a day’s rest, action returns to the pitch for the eight teams at the quaterfinals of the AFCON in Egypt.
As it stands, West Africa has four teams at the quaterfinal stage ( Nigeria, Benin, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire), North Africa (Tunisia and Algeria), and southern Africa (South Africa and Madagascar).
Quaterfinal Day-1 fixtures
-Senegal vs. Benin in Cairo, Wednesday 10th July 2019
-Nigeria vs. South Africa in Cairo, Wednesday 10th July 2019
-Algeria vs. Cote D’Ivoire in Suez , Thursday 11th July 2019
Madagascar vs. Tunisia in Cairo, Thursday 11th July 2019.
Quarterfinal Day 1: Senegal vs. Benin
The first quaterfinal fixture to be fielded at the 30 June Stadium in Egypt’s capital, Cairo will be between the Teranga Lions of Senegal against the Squirrels of Benin.
The two teams, who have never won the prestigious trophy will be hoping to book a place in the semi-finals and take a step towards making history.
The Liverpool star, Sadio Mane and his Senegalese team has been tipped favourites of the encounter. Benin is at the quaterfinals for the first time in history.
The small West African state is still to make a big win or lose a game at the ongoing football festival. The boys of Michel Dussuyer held football giants like Cameroon and Ghana and Guinea-Bissau to stalemates at the group stage before defeating Morocco at the last round of 16.
Ahead of the clash, Senegalase Coach, Aliou Cisse says ‘‘We should give every team its right, there are no small teams in Africa, the quality is very similar. While we might be favourites on paper, papers don’t decide anything.”
‘‘Our presence at this stage is not out of luck, we worked hard and I believe in my players,” argued Benin’s coach, Michel Dussuyer.
Senegal and Benin have not met before in AFCON history.
Quaterfinal Day-1 : Nigeria vs. South Africa
The Super Eagles of Nigeria, three-time African champions pick on will take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, the host and winner of the 1996 tournament.
Nigeria overcame their nemesis Cameroon 3-2 in the Round of 16 will be hoping to increase their tally to four this time around
‘‘We’re preparing very well for the game because it will be very difficult and against a strong team,’‘ Nigeria’s star forward Odion Ighalo said ahead of the July 10 fixture at the Cairo International Stadium.
South Africa beat Nigeria away in their opening match of the AFCON qualifiers in June 2017, and were held to a1-1 game in the return leg.
‘‘Nigeria is one of the best teams in the tournament and it’s going to be a difficult match,’‘ conceded South Africa’s coach, Stuart Baxter.
AFCON Head to Head record: Nigeria Vs. South Africa
Nigeria 2-0 South Africa, semi-final in 2000
Nigeria 4-0 South Africa, group stage in 2004