The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinalists are entirely different from the ones that advanced to the same round the previous two years.

This time, the countries in question are Guinea, Angola, Cape Verde, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Ivory Coast.

After Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal were eliminated, the Super Eagles were the top-ranked team remaining.

The second round of the knockout stages will begin for Jose Peseiro’s team with a unique matchup against Angola.

The most memorable encounter occurred in Kano, where the Palancas Negras defeated the Eagles 1–1 to win the head-to-head match and earn a spot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria had exacted revenge against Cameroon and Ivory Coast in this same event. The three-time winners would also be eager to defeat Angola and dedicate the victory to the late Sam Okwaraji.

On August 12, during a World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Lagos, Okwaraji, then 25 years old, collapsed and died.

The game was marred by the premature death of the gifted midfielder, as Nigeria won 1-0.

Ivory Coast, the hosts who just about made it to the round of 16, performed a classic AFCON miracle by sending Senegal, the reigning champions, packing with penalties.

Mali is the next game they play. This one will test their team’s growth over the tournament. And when we get into the business end of things, how far can home support push them?

South Africa is among the favorites after their clinical destruction of World Cup semifinalist Morocco. In a match that many on social media have dubbed “The Battle of the Tourist Destinations,” they play Cape Verde in the round of eight.

However, Bafana Bafana will be playing against a team that can surprise them so that it will be a difficult match.

For the second time ever, Cape Verde advanced to the quarterfinals after taking first place in a group that included Egypt and Ghana, two heavyweights. They are not to be taken lightly.

DR Congo will play Guinea in the final match. Incredibly, one of these countries will enter the championship’s semi-finals.

Congo has not won a game during regular time. Guinea’s round of 16 encounter ended dramatically when Mohamed Bayo scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to defeat Equatorial Guinea.

So get ready for some drama!

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