Reliable bookmaker 1xBet announces the hot AFCON semi-finals, which will occur on February 7.
Nigeria vs South Africa
Bookmaker 1xBet considers Nigeria the main favorite of the tournament and accepts bets on its victory with odds of 2.2. According to this indicator, the Super Eagles are significantly ahead of the tournament hosts and will be favorites in the semi-finals.
The main trump card of the traditionally attacking Nigerian team unexpectedly became defence. Jose Peseiro’s team allowed only 1 goal in the first round, and Stanley Nwabili became a real discovery of the tournament and has not conceded for 414 minutes. The 27-year-old goalkeeper spent most of his career in Nigeria, and since last season, ironically, he has been playing in the South African Premier Division, where he defends the colours of Chippa United.
That being said, don’t underestimate the Super Eagles’ attack. The Nigerians hit the opponents’ goal in every match, something their competitors cannot boast of. The leader of the attack was Ademola Lookman, who scored all 3 of his goals in the playoffs and is the top AFCON scorer among the remaining players in the tournament. The performance of the Atalanta midfielder, who often plays as a deep-lying forward, compensates for Victor Osimhen’s problems. Napoli’s star forward has scored 1 goal so far but is extremely useful in play-by-play and is excellent at collecting fouls.
Nigeria also has head-to-head statistics on its side. The Super Eagles won all three of their Africa Cup of Nations matches against the South Africans, including the semi-finals of the 2000 tournament.
The South African national team will play in the AFCON semi-finals for the first time in 24 years and can already consider the current tournament a success. It will be difficult for Bafana Bafana to achieve a new feat, but no one bet on them before the ⅛ match with Morocco. Belgian coach Hugo Broos carefully prepares for each opponent and plays to his team’s strengths, which include defence. The South Africans have not conceded 414 minutes in the tournament and feel comfortable as an underdog.
Made up of mostly domestic players, South Africa’s team is well-executed and confident, thanks to the solid performance of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. He saved 4 shots in the quarterfinal penalty shootout against Cape Verde and caused Moroccan Achraf Hakimi to miss. If the main and extra time ends in a draw, the Nigerians’ chances of winning will be minimal.
Cote d’Ivoire vs DR Congo
Ivory Coast last won the AFCON in 2015, with DR Congo finishing as runners-up. The team of Yaya and Kolo Toure beat their current opponents in the semi-finals and consider the new match with Leopards a good sign.
The path of the Africa Cup of Nations hosts through the tournament is reminiscent of the movie character Rocky Balboa’s fight, where he receives heavy blows and gets knocked down, but in the championship rounds, finds a second wind and heroically achieves victory. Côte d’Ivoire entered the playoffs with 3 points and a goal difference of 2-5. After a 0-4 defeat in the group by Equatorial Guinea, the Elephants fired the head coach, and the local specialist Emerse Fae, who replaced him, relied on extreme motivation. With the crazy support of the crowd, this plan worked, and Côte d’Ivoire beat Senegal in a penalty shootout and Mali in overtime. In both matches, the tournament hosts conceded first and saved themselves in the last minutes of regular time. Moreover, in the quarterfinals with the Malians, the Elephants were left with ten of them in the first half but scored the winning goal in the 120th minute. Odilon Kossounou, who failed that match, and Oumar Diakite, who scored the decisive goal, will miss the semi-finals due to disqualification.
The DR Congo team experienced fewer emotional shocks but beat its nerves in the penalty shootout with Egypt in the 1/8 finals. The Leopards achieved only one victory in regulation time throughout the entire tournament, beating Guinea in the quarterfinals with a score of 3-1. Côte d’Ivoire could not have dreamed of a better opponent at this tournament stage.
Choose your favorites in the unpredictable AFCON semi-finals and enjoy the best teams in Africa with 1xBet!