Africa Cup of Nations: What to look out for on day 18 in Egypt

Madagascar are making their debut at the Africa Cup of Nations
Madagascar are making their debut at the Africa Cup of Nations
2019 Africa Cup of Nations
Host nation: Egypt Dates: 21 June - 19 July 2019
Coverage: Text commentary and selected match reports on the BBC Sport website and app

Madagascar sprung a huge surprise on day 17 as the Africa Cup of Nations debutants reached the quarter-finals with a penalty shootout victory over DR Congo.

Algeria joined the minnows in the last eight with a comfortable win over Guinea - so what can we expect from day 18?

Ivory Coast and Ghana are both in action as the round of 16 reaches its conclusion.

Who's playing?

Mali play their first knockout match at the Africa Cup of Nations since finishing third in 2013 when they face two-time champions Ivory Coast in Suez (17:00 BST).

The final last-16 game of the tournament is between Ghana and Tunisia in Ismailia at 20:00.

Africa Cup of Nations last 16

  • Morocco 1-1 Benin (Benin win 4-1 on penalties)
  • Uganda 0-1 Senegal
  • Nigeria 3-2 Cameroon
  • Egypt 0-1 South Africa
  • Madagascar 2-2 DR Congo (Madagascar win 4-2 on penalties)
  • Algeria 3-0 Guinea
  • Mali v Ivory Coast
  • Ghana v Tunisia

Players to watch

Mali v Ivory Coast

Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha has been the subject of a bid from Arsenal
Wilfried Zaha
National team: Ivory Coast Position: Forward Club: Crystal Palace Age: 26

Wilfried Zaha played just 111 minutes out of 270 in the group stages but still managed to score in his last appearance against Namibia on 1 July.

Will he start against Mali?

Zaha's club future might be up in the air - Arsenal have offered £40m for the winger - but the player insists he is concentrating on helping Ivory Coast win Afcon for a third time.

"The only thing that's on my mind right now is trying to win this cup," he told media in Egypt.

Ghana v Tunisia

Jordan Ayew
Jordan Ayew spent last season at Crystal Palace alongside Zaha
Jordan Ayew
National team: Ghana Position: Forward Club: Swansea City Age: 27

Jordan Ayew is another player at Afcon whose club future is subject to speculation.

A fee of around £2.5m with add-ons is expected to see Ayew return to Crystal Palace after spending last season on loan at Selhurst Park from Swansea.

The deal could be delayed until he returns from Egypt where Ayew - alongside brother Andre - has helped the Black Stars progress to the knockout stage.

How the quarter-finals are shaping up

  • Senegal v Benin - 10 July, Cairo
  • Nigeria v South Africa - 10 July, Cairo
  • Madagascar v Ghana/Tunisia - 11 July, Cairo
  • Mali/Ivory Coast v Algeria - 11 July, Suez

What are the big stories of the day?

Following the exit of holders Cameroon and hosts Egypt, Ghana will fancy their chances of a fifth Africa Cup of Nations triumph - and first since 1982.

The Black Stars won only one of their group games yet still finished ahead of Cameroon and remain unbeaten.

"We're not the favourites after the former champions and the tournament hosts exited as well as Morocco," said Ghana head coach James Kwesi Appiah.

"As you see in this competition, there are no favourites but we'll give our best to continue."

Ghana face a Tunisia side who have yet to win in Egypt. Three draws against Angola, Mali and Mauritania were enough to take them through.

Mali's players are determined to "write history", according to boss Mohamed Magassouba.

Speaking before the last-16 game with Ivory Coast, he added: "In order to do that, we need humility and self-sacrifice. We want people in Mali to be happy."

As It Stood


3DR Congo31024403






2Ivory Coast32015236
3South Africa310212-13




View full Africa Cup of Nations tables

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