July 23, 2024

The TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023, has reached a fever pitch, with the semifinal line-up officially confirmed after Nigeria, DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and South Africa secured their respective places.

Bafana Bafana face old-time foes, Nigeria, in the first semifinal on Wednesday, 7th February, in what will be a repeat of the 2000 semifinal that saw the Super Eagles overcome the 1996 champions 2-0 in Lagos.

The rivalry between the two sides will be renewed in Cote d’Ivoire as Nigeria chases their fourth title, while South Africa looks ahead to what has been an elusive second.

Following the 2000 semifinal defeat, the Super Eagles edged Bafana Bafana in the quarterfinals in the 2019 edition in Egypt with a narrow 2-1 win.

The two sides have met 14 times, with the Super Eagles enjoying a lion’s share of the results with 7 victories against 2 for South Africa, with the remaining 5 ending in stalemates.

This will be another entry for the rich history books of African football, with Bafana Bafana now under the guidance of two former African champions against a star-studded Super Eagles side.

The Southern African side is led by TotalEnergies AFCON 2017-winning coach Hugo Broos, who guided the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to victory five years ago.

The Belgian tactician is assisted by Helman Mkhalele, a key member of the 1996 golden generation that lifted South Africa’s first and only African title.

It will be an uphill battle containing an explosive Super Eagles side led by the dangerous Victor Osimhen and the red-hot Ademola Lookman.

Kick-off at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake on Wednesday is at 17:00.

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