Featured image by CAFOnline

The semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 are poised to deliver an enthralling spectacle as Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and DR Congo vie for a coveted spot in the tournament’s final showdown. With each team bringing a unique blend of skill, determination, and passion to the pitch, football fans around the world have much to anticipate in the upcoming clashes.

Title holders

Nigeria will meet South Africa while Cote d’Ivoire will see DR Congo on the pitch. All four teams have seen the glory of the AFCON title at least once in their team’s respective history’s. 

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have won three times in 1980, 1994, and 2013. Côte d’Ivoire (1992 and 2015) and DR Congo (1968 and 1974) are both two-time title holders while South Africa hasn’t won since 1996. 

Peace Stadium of Bouaké
Photo credit: CAF Online-Peace Stadium of Bouaké

Game time

Wednesday, 07 February  

12:00pm EST/5:00pm GMT | Nigeria v South Africa – Stade de la Paix, Bouake  

3:00pm EST/8:00pm GMT | Cote d’Ivoire v DR Congo – Stade Alassane Ouattara, Ebimpe

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A long standing rivalry

The semi-final matchup between Nigeria and South Africa promises to reignite a classic rivalry between two footballing powerhouses.

As shared by CAFOnline, Nigeria and South Africa met in 2000 at the semi-final stage and Nigeria defeated Bafana Bafana 2-0. The teams met again at the 2019 AFCON quarter-final held in Egypt when Nigeria beat South Africa yet again. Overall, they have met 14 times which the Super Eagles won 7. 

Battle of the underdogs

In the other semi-final clash, Côte d’Ivoire squares off against DR Congo in a battle of the underdogs. Both teams have defied expectations throughout the tournament, displaying grit and determination in overcoming formidable opponents.

Both teams had rocky starts at AFCON 2023, yet find themselves in the running for the cup. In all, Côte d’Ivoire and DR Congo have met six times at AFCON. The last time they met was during the group stage in Gabon 2017 where they drew 2-2.

With dreams of lifting the AFCON trophy within reach, the semi-finalists will leave everything on the pitch in pursuit of footballing immortality. As the world watches with bated breath, the AFCON 2023 semi-finals promise to be a celebration of the beautiful game and the enduring spirit of African football.