AFCON 2023: It’s the battle of giants as Senegal face Ivory Coast in Round of 16


Defending champions Senegal, living up to their billing as favorites, are poised for a high-stakes Round of 16 clash against hosts Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Lions of Teranga displayed dominance in Group C, effortlessly winning all three matches without conceding a goal. With an unbeaten streak in competitive matches extending over a year, Senegal presents ominous signs for their title rivals.

Seeking to achieve a rare feat by securing back-to-back AFCON titles, Senegal faces a formidable challenge against Ivory Coast, a team they’ve historically struggled against in head-to-head encounters (W5, D2, L10).

The Ivorian Elephants, however, enter the knockout stage in turmoil, relying on their status as the fourth-best third-place finishers to progress.

Recent defeats, including a humbling 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea, prompted the swift dismissal of coach Jean-Louis Gasset and his assistant Ghislain Printant, with interim boss Emerse Faé now tasked with rallying the team.

Senegal’s forward Sadio Mané, a key player to watch, contributed to a goal in each group game, underlining his influence.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast will look to midfield maestro Seko Fofana for inspiration, hoping to capitalize on his scoring form from previous internationals.

With Senegal maintaining a first-half clean sheet in their last nine matches, the clash promises to be a showdown of resilience and skill as the defending champions seek to continue their AFCON journey.

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