Tips & Predictions

AFCON 2023 semifinals preview

After four thrilling quarterfinal clashes, only four teams remain in AFCON 2024. These teams will battle it out in the semifinals to progress to the last stage of the competition with hopes of being crowned champions of Africa. 

We preview both semifinal matches below.

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Nigeria v South Africa – Wednesday 17:00

It is fair to say that one team had a slightly easier semifinal experience than the other! Nigeria managed to keep a fourth clean sheet in consecutive games against Angola in a 1-0 win. South Africa and Cape Verde on the other hand both struggled to score, with a goalless 0-0 draw after 120 minutes of football. Ronwen Williams, the South Africa number one, was pivotal in their penalty shootout, saving an unbelievable four, which edged his team to a 2-1 victory on penalties.

Nigeria are odds-on favourites at 4/7 to progress into the final, given their immaculate record of having never lost to the South Africans in AFCON and players such as Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman making a difference so far in their campaign. His first-half strike against Angola was enough to take the three-time African champions to their 15th semifinal, and no doubt will have their sights set on the final and will hope to dismiss South Africa with ease. Despite looking a bit fatigued in the last game and uncertainly surrounding an appearance in this match, Victor Osimhen leads the running in the anytime goalscorers market at 11/10, with Lookman a close second at 12/5 – there is also a special price for both players to have a shot on target in the first half at 7/2.

At 5/1, the odds are against South Africa going into this game, who scraped a victory against Cape Verde in Saturday’s quarterfinal. It can’t be overlooked however that this outfit managed to dismiss favourite Morocco in the previous round and there will be far from compliant opponents in this game. Although struggling to score a goal in open play against Cape Verde, South Africa displayed some fantastic defence with keeper Ronwen Williams stealing the show in the penalty shootout to propel his team into the latter stages of the competition. It will be South Africa’s first semifinal since 2000, with a victory in the 1996 tournament, and they’ll be keen to stamp their names on the trophy once again. Evidence Makgopa leads the running for the South Africans to hit the back of the net at 5/1, followed closely by both Percy Tau and Zakhele Lepasa at 6/1.

Ivory Coast v DR Congo – Wednesday 20:00

Despite their tumultuous journey in the competition so far, the hosts Ivory Coast will not back down without a fight against DR Congo to reach the final on home soil. The Elephants were on the brink of elimination in the group stages but have since raised the roof in Bouke in their quarterfinal game, dismissing Mali 2-1 after being a goal down along with ten men for the majority of the game. DR Congo, on the other hand, managed to beat Guinea in a convincing 3-1 win and will be all guns blazing ahead of this clash.

This should be a more even contest than the other semifinal, with the host nation trading at 11/10, and DR Congo at 27/10. Ivory Coast managed to eliminate the reigning champions Senegal and are thoroughly deserving of their place in this semifinal; however, their last two games have now accumulated an extra 60 minutes in additional time, so we could see the Elephants dwindle slightly towards the end of the game. Sebastian Haller is the man who has been tipped most to hit the back of the net at 13/5, with Karim Konate and Jean-Philippe Krasso a close second at 11/4. Haller and Nicolas Pepe have meanwhile been given a special price of 13/2 to both hit the target in the first half.

Although DR Congo are minor outsiders going into this fixture, they haven’t lost a game in their last five AFCON appearances so will be as confident as ever given Ivory Coast’s rocky campaign thus far. However, they do have the pressure of performing against the host nation in front of a home crowd, having been unable to beat them in their last two meetings. At 17/5, Cedric Bakambu will be eager to scribble his name on the scoresheet for the first time in the tournament, with goalscoring regular Yoane Wissa narrowly behind at 18/5.

Bet on the AFCON semifinals here with William Hill



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