AFCON 2023: Key stats and storylines leading to semifinals


As the 2023 AFCON Côte d’Ivoire heats up, here are the top 10 key stats leading up to the semi-finals:

Return of the Elephants: This is Côte d’Ivoire’s first AFCON semifinal since 2015, when they emerged as champions after defeating Ghana.

Nigeria’s Defensive Dominance: Nigeria has conceded just one goal in 5 matches, scored by Iban Edu Salvador of Equatorial Guinea.

DR Congo’s Semifinal Success: DR Congo has won two AFCON titles, beating the host country in the semifinals before clinching victory in the final on both occasions (1968 against Ethiopia and 1974 against Egypt).

DR Congo’s Resurgence: DR Congo, initially winless, bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Guinea in the quarter-finals, maintaining an unbeaten streak after 5 matches.

South Africa’s Goalkeeping Heroics: Ronwell Williams of South Africa made history as the first goalkeeper to make 4 saves in a penalty shootout and has kept 4 consecutive clean sheets, a first for Bafana Bafana.

Stanley Nwabali’s Clean Sheet Streak: Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali achieved four consecutive clean sheets in his first 5 matches at AFCON.

Change in Quarter-finalists: None of the quarter-finalists from AFCON 2021 made it to the same stage in the 2023 tournament.

Top Scorers: Despite Equatorial Guinea’s elimination, Emilio Nsue Lopez leads the goal-scoring charts with 5 goals. Ademola Lookman of Nigeria is the only remaining player in the top 10 scorers with 3 goals.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Resilience: Despite losing twice in the group phase, Côte d’Ivoire became the first team to qualify for the semifinals since Senegal in 2006.

Late Drama: Côte d’Ivoire’s Oumar Diakité scored the latest goal in AFCON history (120’+2), surpassing Morocco’s Jaouad Zairi’s record set in 2004.

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