As the African Cup of Nations gains momentum, the Ivory Coast and Egypt will take each other in The Round 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 26 January 2022.
This quarter-final match promises to be a showstopper between two powerhouses in African football. Both countries have produced some of the greatest footballers the continent has seen. Between them, they share nine AFCON titles and hold the enviable position of the most appearances in the history of AFCON.
In 2019, Egypt hosted the AFCON, and they bowed out in the last 16 after losing to South Africa. This season, their performance has been lacklustre. The Pharaoh’s lost their first match to Nigeria and narrowly beat Guinea Bissau and Sudan 1-0 to make their way to the last 16. They remain a challenging opponent and are out to win. With Mohamed Salah, the best player in the world on their side, they will be dependent on him to score goals.
”Egypt are getting stronger in this competition. From the first to the last group game, you have noticed that the team is better. Against Cote d’Ivoire, we will ignore the past to focus on the present.” – Carlos Queiroz, Egyptian Coach.
In comparison, Côte d’Ivoire has scored in all three group stage games. They scored six goals, which averages at two goals per game. They were at their devastating best in their last group match and defeated the defending champions Algeria 3-1.
The goals have been shared among the strikers and midfielders in the Ivory Coast team, which shows how fluid they are when on the attack. Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe has benefited from the dynamic football Ivory Coast plays, scoring two goals so far.
The Elephants are on the hunt for a third AFCON title, and when the teams clash on Wednesday, the match promises to be one of the best games the Cameroon AFCON has seen so far.
“‘This outsider status suits us very well; we know where we are going. We are happy to have finished first in our group, now that is behind us because we will face a great team from Egypt with players who are used to playing in Africa. This will be a tactical match, closed but very exciting. The most important thing is that we want to continue our way’.” – Patrice Beaumelle (Coach, Cote d’Ivoire)
The nature of the knockout stages is unpredictable, but this match will be tightly contested. While Egypt plays a more technical game, Côte d’Ivoire’s approach is robust, maximising their strength and pace when attacking.
Ivory Coast is riding on a wave of momentum, and that should carry them when they play as the Egyptian side is yet to hit top form. Our AFCON soccer prediction is that Ivory Coast will win 2-1 on Wednesday.
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