Opinion: Who will qualify for AFCON last 16?

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is one of the most prestigious football tournaments on the continent, showcasing the talent and competitiveness of African football teams. The fact that it will be held in Ivory Coast adds another layer of anticipation and excitement. Ayanda Vezi shares his view on who he tips to qualify for the knockout rounds.

With 24 teams vying for the trophy, the competition is sure to be fierce. It provides a platform for African football nations to showcase their skills, and fans can expect intense matches and memorable moments. The hosting nation Ivory Coast have been drawn in group A with the likes of Eqautorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria. However, looking at this group The Elephants and Super Eagles are the favourites to qualify for the next round looking at the quality of players they have in their teams, the likes of Victor Oshimhen and Sebastien Haller.

In group B it’s a no brainer that Ghana and Egypt will top their group. Meanwhile Defending champions Senegal will undoubtedly face strong challenges from other top teams eager to claim the title for themselves. The Lions of Teranga are in group C along side with Cameroon, Gambia and Guinea. This will be a very interesting group as you cannot write-off National Elephants as their performance sometimes depends on factors such as the squad’s form, the quality of opposition, and other tournament dynamics. But Senegal and Cameroon will make it in this group maybe Naby Keita’s Guinea will finish third.

Two-time champions Algeria are placed in group D alongside a Burkina Faso team who are notoriously known for progressing beyond the group stages as well as Angola and Mauritania, both teams in their last AFCON participation failed to make it to the knockout round which makes them underdogs in this group.

Group E will see Bafana Bafana, Tunisia, Mali and Namibia going head-to-head against each other. Looking at the recent form of South Africa, they will make it in this group, but Mali and Tunisia will definitely get first and second place. However, coach Hugo Broo’s men will finish third which will make them one of those teams that finishes on third-spot and will proceed to the next round if they have better points and performance. South Africa will collect maximum points against Namibia and get a point against Tunisia.

In group F will have a nail-biting fixture as it got DR Congo, Morrocco, Tanzania and Zambia. This is a group of death as all sides here have proven themselves before that they are the best teams. Morrocco will be looking to bring that World Cup performance in this tournament and surely everyone is backing them to win this group. While DR Congo and Zambia will battle for that second and third place so they will also qualify for the last 16 rounds. As for Tanzania their run in this competition will finish in the group stages.

It will be interesting Africa Cup of Nations to watch the tournament will finish on the 11 of February. 

Written by: Ayanda Vezi