Weekly digest #3
TOTAL AFCON 2019 WEEK 3 ROUNDUP
Senegal and Nigeria both lost a match and finished second in their respective groups, but none of it will matter as they are now both in the semifinals after narrow wins in their quarterfinal matches. They will be joined by two of the following four teams: three former champions (Ivory Coast, Algeria and Tunisia) plus Madagascar, a team playing in its first ever AFCON.
Egypt and Morocco exit the tournament early, after losing their Round of 16 matches
We don’t know who’ll win this year’s Total AFCON yet, but we know for sure that it won’t be seven-time champions and hosts Egypt. Egypt, who won all of their three group games, lost 1-0 to South Africa, who had finished third in Group D and qualified as the last of the best third-placed teams. They were not the only North African side to go from topping the group to a shock defeat—Morocco was knocked out of Total AFCON 2019 after losing on penalties to Benin, who are 88th on the FIFA World Rankings.
After Nigeria, DR Congo fall to Madagascar… the dream run continues
In one week, Madagascar got the better of two of Africa’s best football teams, Nigeria and DR Congo. After its unexpected 2-0 victory against Africa’s third-best team in the group stages, Madagascar beat DR Congo 4-2 on penalties in its first ever AFCON knockout match. The team was up 2-1 up against DR Congo, and was all set for its maiden quarterfinal appearance, when a 90th-minute goal pushed the game to extra time. But Madagascar’s footballers held their nerve and the team went on to win on penalties.
We’re now down to six teams
Twenty-four teams came into the Total AFCON 2019 hoping to win football’s third-biggest tournament, after the FIFA World Cup and the Euros. Only six teams remain. Three-time champions Nigeria will play either Algeria or Ivory Coast, while Africa’s top-ranked football team, Senegal, will have to beat either Madagascar or Tunisia to book a place in the Total AFCON 2019 finals. Senegal and Madagascar have never won the tournament before. Will we have a new champion? We’ll know in little more than a week.
Round of 16
Benin 1 (4) – 1 (1) Morocco
Senegal 1 – 0 Benin