AFCON 2019: Top sides battle in quarter finals

AFCON 2019: Top sides battle in quarter finals
Senegal's star player Sadio Mane, leads the scoring chart with three goals

Cairo, Egypt | URN | The 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) enters the quarter finals stage on Wednesday with two matches on card.

Africa’s highest ranked team Senegal who ejected Uganda 1-0 in the Round of 16 will be up against Benin in the first game at the 30 June Stadium before Nigeria face South Africa in the second game at the Cairo International Stadium.

“We are motivated to work harder and try to win the trophy. It is not about the goals I score, but to work as a team and win,” Senegal’s star player Sadio Mane who leads the scoring chart with three goals told this publication.

Benin are the only team in the tournament who are yet to suffer defeat or win a game in open play. In the Group stage they drew 2-2 against Ghana and settled for goalless draws against Cameroon and Guinea Bissau. Benin ejected Morocco in the Round of 16 on penalty shoot outs 4-1 after a 1-1 draw.

The second semi final promises to be a more tension packed. To reach the quarters Nigeria came from behind to defeat the defending champions Cameroon 3-2, while South Africa silenced the hosts Egypt 1-0.

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But Nigeria’s head coach Gernot Rohr has made it clear they must approach the game with a lot of caution. “The quarter final stage is another level and South Africa is a good side like they showed against Egypt. We need to take our chances,” added the coach.

The third quarter final match between Tunisia and surprise package Madagascar will take place on Thursday at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, while Algeria and Ivory Coast battle at the Suez Stadium.

On the pitch attendance has reduced since the Egyptian national team was ejected in the Round of 16.
All quarter finalists are assured of US$800,000 (Shs2.5 billion). The winners will take home US$4 million (Shs14.7 billion), while the runners-up take US$2 million (Shs 7.3 million).