The semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations is bringing two very interesting matches. And we might say that some of the participants weren’t expected to be here. Many believed that the host nation, Egypt and Ivory Coast are bound to reach the final four teams, but that didn’t happen. Instead, we will have exciting battles without them, but be sure that it won’t affect the quality of those matches. It will be totally the opposite.
Senegal vs. Tunisia
This should be an entertaining match between two sides with excellent individuals, who are perfectly melted into a strong unit. Senegal is generally in fantastic form, and they have just one loss over the latest 10 matches. It came in the group stage of this ACN against Algeria, which is by the way in the second semifinal. Apart from that, Aliou Cisse’s guys have just one draw. What is a trademark of this team, is the fantastic defensive line, which kept 8 clean sheets during the above-mentioned span, recording all of them in victories. Their total goal difference here in Egypt is 7-1, and the sole allowed goal came it that loss against Algeria, 0-1. Both games in the knockout stage ended with minimal triumphs, against Uganda and Benin. We could see that Cisse’s team had more of ball possession and that they wanted to dictate the tempo.
On the other side, Tunisia is a hard-working side, which sometimes reminds more on some European team than at African. They have adjustable players who are making the entire crew very versatile and can play against any team. After three draws in the group stage, against Angola, Mali, and Mauritania, they eliminated Ghana and Madagascar in the knockout stage. Round of 16 matches against Ghana was a shocker because Tunisia conceded an own goal in the second minute of stoppage time. Still, they held one, didn’t lose the morale, and advanced after penalties. Now that is something which tells a lot about this side. They too aren’t very efficient when playing, and because of that our pick here would be under 2.5 goals.
Algeria vs. Nigeria
The Desert Warriors against the Super Eagles that is our next match. This promises to be a very intense and physical clash, as both teams have a pretty tough approach to each game. Algeria has all five wins here in Egypt, and they allowed the first goal in their net all the way in the quarterfinals against Ivory Coast. Even that match should have gone in their favor without any problems, but a missed penalty by Baghdad Bounedjah complicated things a little bit. After that, the Elephants equalized and Algeria had to fight its way to the semis after the penalty shootout. Their mental strength and composure were crucial, which is why Ivory Coast fell down
Super Eagles had two hell of opponents in the knockout stage, and both matches this side played were nerve-wracking. At first, Nigeria defeated Cameroon with 3-2, after coming back from behind, although they grabbed the lead early. After that, the next victim was South Africa, whom Rohr’s team eliminated with a late goal by Udinese’s defender William Troost-Ekong. He scored just one minute away from the end of the regular time. Nigeria was a bit inferior in that match, but they still found a way how to get on top and continue the quest for the title. We need to stress out that this team had two extremely strong rivals here. Anyhow, don’t expect some fireworks of goals in this event, it will be more of a tactical game with lots of fouls and set pieces. Therefore, under 2.5 goals is our choice here too.