What started as a clash between the best 24 African teams has gone down to only four. And so far, one can only describe the AFCON 2022 competition in one word—spectacular! The quarter-finals had their on-the-fence moments, and the upcoming semi-finals seem to have even higher stakes.
Depending on how the matches will end, we might have Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane face each other in the finals. Talking about what’s at stake in the semi-finals. Host Cameroon is looking to make its fans proud by keeping the trophy at home. Egypt is chasing their eighth AFCON title. Burkina Faso is ready to make history by winning their first AFCON trophy. And Senegal plans to avenge its last AFCON final’s defeat.
The schedule for the semi-finals matches is out, and we are glad to see that the temporary suspension of Stadium Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde has been lifted. This is after an unfortunate stampede incident on January 24th, which left eight people dead.
The first match will be on February 2nd between Burkina Faso and Senegal. The second event will be on February 3rd between Cameroon and Egypt. Which teams will proceed to the finals? As we wait for the d-day, here’s the outcome we might expect.
Burkina Faso vs Senegal
Kicking off the semi-finals fixtures will be the game between The Stallions and The Lions of Teranga. Both teams have been competitive so far, but Senegal comes off as the better team if you go by the stats. It’s no wonder that the top betting sites in Kenya have them as the favourites in their odds.
Burkina Faso has only managed to get one goal past their opponents’ net in all their victories. One of the matches had to be decided with a penalty shootout. On the other hand, Senegal has kept five clean sheets in their past six matches. During the quarter-finals, the Lions of Teranga had the biggest victory with a 3-1 win over Equatorial Guinea.
With Edouard Mendy watching the net and lethal finisher Sadio Mane playing forward, Burkina Faso has to bring its A-game to the pitch. However, as bookmakers might point to Senegal for a win, don’t forget that The Stallions have made it to the semi-finals three times and will surely put up a fight.
Cameroon vs Egypt
Probably the most anticipated match of the semi-finals, Cameroon Vs Egypt, will be a tight game. Both nations are at the top of the AFCON winners list, with Egypt having seven trophies and Cameroon having five. Not only that, but the 2017 AFCON final was between these two teams and the Indomitable Lions took the day. Will it be the same this time?
Mohamed Salah will be pressured to win his first major title with Egypt. Cameroon will be committed to keeping the trophy on home soil. Maybe their recent matches might be able to tell us which one of the two teams will likely be the winner.
Egypt might have started off the group stage with an impressive performance, but things got a little tough later on. In their round of 16 match, Egypt came close to kissing the tournament goodbye after having a close win over Ivory Coast through penalties. Again in the quarter-finals, Egypt had to play on extra time to win 2-1 against Morocco.
Compared to their opponents, the Indomitable Lions have had top form even in the late stages of the competition. They had a 2-0 victory against the Gambia in their quarter-finals match, which propelled Karl Toko Ekambi to become the tournament’s second top scorer. Captain Vincent Aboubakar, of the same team, is the top scorer so far.
If you’ve been following the competition closely, you’ll agree that Cameroon shows a much better performance between the two teams. Because of this, the Indomitable Lions will likely dominate over the Pharaohs.