Tomorrow, Saturday will mark the beginning of the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations. I have to admit that just like last year, my two favorites are Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The Chipolopolo showed a very poor display of their skills this year, and the champions never advanced to the quarter-finals, the first time in 20 years that a champion (since Algeria) doesn’t make it through the first stage.
The game to watch (i.e. the clash of titans) in the quarter-finals, will be Cote d’Ivoire vs. Nigeria. Personally, after Nigeria so-so display, I rest fully on the elephants to send the Super Eagles packing.
The other game will be Mali vs. South Africa. The Bafana Bafana of South Africa have not been a strong team since 1996, and so my hope is the greatest for them. However, they have the home court advantage as the cup is taking place in South Africa. Mali, with Seydou Keita, looks a lot stronger.
Burkina Faso vs. Togo is a so-so game… Anybody’s guess on who will be the winner is good; I give the slight upper edge to Togo.
Lastly, Ghana vs. Cape-Verde will be a nice game to watch. First because this is Cape Verde’s first ever participation at the African Cup of Nations, and also because they have truly earned their place at the CAN, and have so far pleased by their work. The Blue Sharks also happens to have a singing coach who brings joy to the players. This said, I believe Ghana to be the favorite and the strongest side, and I think Asamoah Gyan‘s teammates will be eager to clear last year’s defeat and finally lift the trophy.
I can’t wait to watch a Côte d’Ivoire vs. Ghana final… Elephants vs. Black Stars …the ‘great generation’ as Drogba‘s teammates are known, vs. Ghana’s greats…that promises (if it happens) to be a hot game! I can already see fire on the mountain.