AFCON U23 semi finals: Ghana vs. Ivory Coast, Egypt vs. South Africa


Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

Egypt is hosting the Under-23 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, months after it hosted the AFCON proper. The event is running between November 8 – 22, 2019.

At the semi-final stage, there is sure to be a new champions after the defending champions, Nigeria, failed to make it past the group stages.

Ghana will face Ivory Coast in an all West African affair in the first fixture whiles the hosts will be hoping to upstage South Africa to book a final slot.

The winners, second and third-place teams automatically qualify to represent Africa in the Olympic Games slated for 2020.

With two groups of four teams each, the Egyptian capital Cairo hosted the entire tournament with the Cairo and Al Salam stadiums being the venues.

GROUP A finished with Egypt topping with 9 points. Ghana edged out Cameroon with superior goal difference after both teams finished with four points apiece. Mali came last with zero points.

In GROUP B, Ivory Coast topped with six points whiles South Africa bagged five points. Defending champions Nigeria managed four points whiles Zambia finished bottom with a point.

In the knockout stage, extra time and penalty shoot-out are used to decide the winner if necessary. An exception is with the third place match where extra-time will be skipped for shootouts to decide.