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Three Consequences of The AFCON Quarters.

Published by on July 14th, 2019.

The quarterfinals of the 32nd Edition of the African Cup of Nations brought three major things to the fore. The first is that it pitched Northern Africa against West Africa in that two North African teams, Algeria and Tunisia will need to slug it out with their West African counterparts, Nigeria and Senegal.
The second issue is that Africa’s Dreamer team, Madagascar that was dreaming of lifting the cup on first appearance at the soccer party, was edged out at this stage. The third is that nobody suspected that group C is where the power houses of the Egypt 2019 were hidden.
Senegal came from group C to shoot down the Squirrels of Benin 1-0. The Super Eagles of Nigeria cut off the Bafana Bafana of South Africa by a lone goal. Tunisia shattered the dream of Berea of Madagascar 3-0 and the Desert Warriors of Algeria captured the Elephants of Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties after ending their match 1-1 in 120 minutes.
The two teams from group D, Ivory Coast and South Africa were ousted. Benin form Group F, South Africa from group D and Madagascar from group B all gone. Group C has Algeria and Senegal standing. Group B has Nigeria and Tunisia from group E standing. There will be more to the group thing.
The Cartage Eagles of Tunisia that wobbled and fumbled into the round of 16 matches still forges ahead and will face the Lions of Senegal in the first semis on Sunday at 5pm at the 30 June Stadium. The Desert Warriors of Algeria will meet the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the second semis at 8pm same Sunday at the Cairo International Stadium.
The quarterfinals gave 37 shots on target highest from both CIV and Alg that had 8 shots on target. Among the 8 teams in the quarters, Senegal has the highest total shots on target (28) followed by Uganda (27). Benin (13) and Madagascar (18) that had the lowest shots on target have gone out because of poor marksmanship.
Senegal in group C has the greatest ball possession mark with 279. Tunisia is second with 269 and another group C team, Algeria is third with 258. Again Benin leads the lowest mark in ball possession 177 followed by Ivory Coast with 216.
Nigeria and Ivory Coast had the highest corner Kicks in the quarters with 6 each but Nigeria leads the quarter finalists with total 31 corners which is 6 less than the total corners awarded in the corners. Corners are short cuts to goals like penalties. Nine goals were scored in the quarters by all the 8 teams which is one less than 10 goals for Algeria as leading team goal scorer for now. Four teams, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Nigeria are next after Algeria with 7 goals each. Highest surviving individual goal scorers are Adams Onnas and Riyard Mahrez both from Algeria, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Odion Ighalo of Nigeria still has 3 goals each. This is dangerous for Nigeria that will be meeting Algeria next.
A total 176 fouls were committed by the 8 teams in four matches making an average of 44 fouls per match which is on the high side. At the quarters, Ivory Coast was caught 32 times followed by Algeria with 26 making 58 fouls done in one match. Of the 8 teams on the overall, Ivory Coast has 120 fouls, Algeria 114 and Benin 102 while Madagascar (76), Nigeria (91) and Senegal (92) are the lowest rough guys.
Fifteen yellow cards, an average of 3.8 cards per match were flashed to the rough guys in the quarters alone. Of this, Ivory Coast had 5 followed by South Africa with 4. Of the eight teams in the quarters, Benin and South Africa hold the highest yellow card record of 11 followed by Ivory Coast with 10 compared with Algeria that has 2 yellows so far, Senegal and Nigeria has 4 and Madagascar has 7. There was a red card to Benin making two red cards in their kitty before leaving. In every football competition, yellow and red cards attract a fine and could count in head to head decisions or in fair play award.
Checking out the group statistics again, it was discovered that Group C had the highest shots on target which is 61 followed by groups A & B that had 51. The same group C that has Algeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania scored the highest group goals 16 followed group A with 13 and group B with 11 goals. Incidentally, group C had the rough guys hidden there. They had the highest fouls of 244 followed by group D with 216 and group F with 211 fouls. At the group stage the two red cards were for group C and group F. Lastly group C supplied two semifinalists in Senegal and Algeria who were shaped in the iniquity of fouls and other achievements.
Here is the score sheet of the quarterfinals.
country score v country score
Sen 1 Ben 0
Nga 2 RSA 1
CIV 1(3) Alg 1(4)
Mad 0 Tun 3

Semifinal pairing
Date Country v Country Time
14/07 Sen Tun 1700
14/07 Alg Nga 2000


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