If you're a fan of African Football, you're in for a treat. The 2017 African Cup of Nation Quarterfinals are set to take place over this weekend, promising some interesting actions between the qualified teams. The 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations quarter finals will be played without the host country Gabon, as they were eliminated in the group stage after failing to win any of their three games.
The eight qualified teams will be fighting for the title of Africa Champion. In addition, the champion will be automatically qualified for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Saturday, Burkina Faso will be facing Tunisia as Senegal will be facing Cameroon later the same day. On Sunday, two predicted high rating games will be taking place: DR Congo will be facing Ghana in the morning, and Egypt will face Morocco in the afternoon.
Burkina Faso vs Tunisia
The only time Tunisia won the Africa Cup of Nation was in 2004. The 36th FIFA ranked team will be facing Burkina Faso (ranked 53rd) who has never won the prestigious title. Although Burkina Faso finished on top of group A, Tunisia showed more strength in the group stage, finishing up second with 2 wins. Prediction is leaning towards Tunisia for the semi-final, but don't count Burkina Faso out yet.
Senegal vs Cameroon
This is one game to watch as two strong teams will battle for a spot to the semi-finals. Senegal (ranked 33rd) has demonstrated their strengths during the group games with 2 wins and a draw, finishing on top of group A. Cameroon only won 1 game and tied the remaining two in the group stage, to barely make it to the next round. Nevertheless, Cameroon holds four past titles, with the last one captured in 2002. They are the favorite team given their past, but Senegal is the strongest of the two at the moment.
Egypt vs Morocco
Whenever you have two northern African teams facing each other, there is a promise of fireworks and elevated tensions; and this event could not have picked a better set. Egypt is fighting to regain their lost thunder as one of the top team in Africa. Currently ranked 35th, Egypt is the top country in this tournament that has held the Africa cup trophy the most: 7 times (with the last one in 2010). They are fighting for a comeback against a team that ranks 57th and with only one title in their record (1976). Morocco is certainly the underdog, but don't count them out yet.
DR Congo vs Ghana
Finally, the highly anticipated quarterfinal game is between DR Congo and Ghana. DR Congo has been on a noticeable positive journey of their football story, increasingly re-emerging as one of the top football team in Africa. Operation Fimbu, as coined by the Congolese team, is still in full effect, with the team entering the match with the goal of winning (and winning big). DR Congo (ranked 49th) has been champion of Africa two times in their history (1968 and 1974). They are going to face a team with more experience in that matter: Ghana has held the cup four times in their history and have demonstrated strength and skills (ranked 54th). A game to watch as this one could go either way. Both teams will be playing hard and we expect lots of drama and emotions.