Giants Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt lock horns on Wednesday as the Round of 16 of the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 gains full momentum.
Not only two of the continent’s biggest guns with nine titles in-between them, The Elephants and The Pharaohs are also have the most number of appearances in AFCON history.
Date: 26 January 2022
Time: 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT)
Venue: Japoma Stadium, Douala
Round of 16
Match: Cote d’Ivoire v Egypt
At the Japoma stadium and after beating Algeria, the Elephants will face a Egypt that did not impress a lot in the group stage.
After losing 0-1 against Nigeria for their start, Egypt won narrowly 1-0 against Guinea Bissau and Sudan to reach the Round of 16.
But it’s a totally different story now. Egypt remains a formidable opponent and the Ivorians know that the Pharaohs have often blocked their way in the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
For their 5th AFCON title, the Pharaohs at home beat the Elephants in the 2006 final on penalties, and two years later for their 6th continental trophy, the Egyptians knocked out the Ivorians in the semi-finals in Ghana 2008.
Enough for the Elephants to be cautious for this round of 16 even if they rather managed an almost perfect match (3-1) against Les Fennecs of Algeria.
Unlike Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire did not lose any matches during the group stage and gave the impression of gaining momentum at the start of the competition.
And in addition, with three games played on this lawn and two games won, the Ivorian team has taken its bearings to face any opponent whether it is Egypt or another.
What they said
Patrice Beaumelle (Coach, Cote d’Ivoire)
“’This outsider status suits us very well; we know where we are going. We are happy to have finished first in our group, now that is behind us because we will face a great team from Egypt with players who are used to playing in Africa. This will be a tactical match, closed but very exciting. The most important thing is that we want to continue our way’.”
Sébastien Haller (Forward, Cote d’Ivoire)
“’I’m happy to be here. It’s good to count on players who won the 2015 AFCON. They bring us a lot of experience. We want to go all the way like all the teams present here. Egypt is a great football nation which is always present at these events, with genius players like Mo Salah. It is a knockout match that can be played over 90 minutes or more. We are preparing for a tactical match which can also be closed.”
Carlos Queiroz, (Coach, Egypt)
“Egypt are getting stronger in this competition. From the first to the last group game, you have noticed that the team is better. Against Cote d’Ivoire, we will ignore the past to focus on the present. We are going to make sure that the best team on the pitch is Egypt. Tomorrow we can please the millions of fans across Egypt. We have great players and we are a beautiful team”.
Mohamed Salah (Captain, Egypt)
“I want to call on the public to encourage all the players present in this team. Everyone must move in the same direction, we are a team and we must have all the support of the fans. Cote d’Ivoire is a great team, it won’t be easy but we proved that we are improving game after game. We will go to play and win.