AFCON 2023: South Africa chasing Round of 16 spot ahead of Tunisia bout


In a pivotal clash in AFCON Group E, South Africa is set to face Tunisia in a high-stakes encounter where the top two spots remain within reach for both teams. After a commanding 4-0 victory over Namibia, South Africa is well-positioned to secure a coveted spot in the knockout stages.

However, with an unpredictable record in their last eight AFCON finals games, including three wins and five losses, the pressure is on to avoid a potential slip that could see them finishing at the bottom of the group.

Themba Zwane, an influential attacker for South Africa, emphasized the team’s need for a win to solidify their qualification. A defeat against Tunisia could be disastrous, especially considering their embarrassing finish at the bottom of the group in the 2015 edition.

For Tunisia, the situation is dire as they find themselves at the bottom of Group E. The 2004 AFCON champions, once considered among Africa’s elite, are on the brink of an early exit, facing the prospect of group stage elimination for the first time since 2013.

A draw against Mali and a shocking defeat to Namibia have left Tunisia with no room for error.

The head-to-head history favors Tunisia, having won three of the last four encounters with South Africa. However, this clash marks their first meeting since January 2008, adding an element of unpredictability to the showdown.

Players to watch include Themba Zwane for South Africa, on the cusp of reaching double figures in international goals, and Hamza Rafia, who has been Tunisia’s sole scorer in this AFCON. The hot stat to consider is that only one of South Africa’s last seven AFCON games saw both teams score, highlighting the team’s defensive resilience.

As the battle unfolds, South Africa and Tunisia are set for a do-or-die clash that will determine their fate in AFCON Group E and could reshape the narrative of their tournament journey.

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