Not many people would have jotted down Angola and Namibia clashing in the Round of 16 at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations! Yet, here we are: two COSAFA teams are vying for a spot in the quarterfinals.

To win (90 min)
 ANGOLA 11/10 
 Draw 7/4
 NAMIBIA 51/20


Angola sailed through a tough group containing Algeria, Burkina Faso and Mauritania in some fashion. The minnows caused the rest of Ivory Coast to sit up and take note, as they claimed seven points from their three matches, rather unexpectedly. For them, the sky is indeed the limit and this team will prove quite awkward to any other that crosses it.

After picking up maximum points against the Almoravids, the Sable Antelopes put two past Burkina Faso without reply. Indeed, that was the first time they had won multiple matches at a single edition of AFCON.

Head coach Pedro Gonçalves’ has unearthed some gems in this one hundred and seventeenth ranked nation. Twenty-seven year old Gelson Dala became the first Angola player to score a brace in an AFCON match for the Palancas Negras, since Manucho did so against Sudan in 2012. Angola Captain, Fredy, has created six chances in Ivory Coast – the most from all teammates. Furthermore, he’s attempted four shots, illustrating his overall impact on the advanced areas of the pitch.


Namibia pulled off one of the great upsets in the history of African football against Tunisia, crumbled against neighbours South Africa, before holding their nerve against Mali for a draw to book their place in the knockouts, the first time they ever got out of a group.

Ahead of the final group matchday at AFCON 2023, The Brave Warriors were one of only three nations (along with DR Congo DR and Cape Verde) to make no changes to their starting eleven. Further to that, Collin Benjamin had used just fifteen players from his squad – the fewest of any team, at that point.

Namibia captain, Peter Shalulile, has churned out a reputation of being a reliable goal scorer for club and country. The thirty-year old is no stranger to knockout competition, having netted for Mamelodi Sundown’s at Loftus Versfeld as his side would go on to overturn a first leg deficit and lift the inaugural AFL trophy. Sha Sha had more than a hand in getting his country to AFCON, scoring four of their six goals as they booked their ticket for Ivory Coast.


Prediction: Angola win (11/10)


This match will kick off the knockout rounds of the tournament, and hopefully will lay down a good marker for absorbing and entertaining do-or-die football! Following a nine-match winless run at AFCON, Gonçalves’ men have got two in two, en route to sailing through Group A. Conversely, The Brave Warriors rode their luck manfully in a very tough Group E. However, Namibia has absolutely nothing to lose, which sets up what could be a memorable match.

Written by: Keba Mothoagae