The quarterfinals are yet to begin, but the Africa Cup of Nations has already lost its hosts, the defending champions and two more of the pre-tournament favorites.
Egypt was unceremoniously turfed out the competition by a resurgent South Africa, while Cameroon lost a chaotic match to bitter rivals Nigeria 3-2. Ghana and Morocco, meanwhile, were removed by penalty shootouts against Tunisia and Benin, respectively.
That leaves Senegal and Algeria as the teams to beat, a recognition both teams have justified so far.
The Lions of Teranga, one of the pre-tournament favorites alongside Egypt, have won three of their four games so far, scoring six times and conceding just once in the process.
Its shining star, Sadio Mane, has scored three goals already, although he has missed a penalty in each of the last two games.
Senegal’s only loss came against Algeria in Group C’s second game. The Desert Foxes are the only team in the final eight with a 100 percent record and are yet to concede a goal.
Aside from that duo, South Africa has hopes of pulling off another upset after dispatching Egypt, while Ivory Coast’s parsimonious defense will be crucial to its chances of reaching the semifinals.
Speaking of upsets, Madagascar will be hoping to continue a remarkable run of form when it plays Tunisia. Playing in their first tournament, the Malagasy have defied the odds, topping their group before eliminating DR Congo in the round of 16.
Nigeria, meanwhile, must beat South Africa to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Super Eagles suffered a surprise loss to Madagascar in the group stage but bounced back to knock out defending champions Cameroon out of the tournament in the round of 16.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the quarterfinals.
Nigeria’s forward Odion Ighalo celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6.
Which teams are in the quarter-finals?
Algeria is the only team to have won every game so far.
The Desert Foxes, who are yet to concede a goal, are looking for a first continental title in 29 years and are joined in the quarterfinals by a quartet of former winners.
Ivory Coast, who took the title in 2015, takes on Algeria, while 2013 champion Nigeria faces 1996 winner South Africa. Meanwhile, Tunisia, which won its only Africa Cup of Nations in 1994, plays Madagascar.
The latter has reached the quarterfinals despite this being its first tournament, while Benin has also made it to the last eight for the first time and will play Senegal.
When do the quarter-finals start?
The quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations gets underway on Wednesday, July 10 with the first two quarterfinals.
The remaining two ties will be played a day later.
Every game in the knockout stage will be available in the U.S. on beIN Sports.
All the knockout stage games will be available to be streamed on beIN Sports digital platforms. Live streams will also be available on fuboTV, Sling World Sports, Sling Latino and Fanatiz.
The pre-tournament favorite alongside Egypt, Senegal remains the bookmakers’ choice to lift the trophy for the first time. According to Oddschecker, Senegal is a 7/2 favorite to win the Africa Cup of Nations, slightly ahead of Algeria who is 7/4.
Nigeria and Ivory Coast follow at 5/1, with Tunisia at 7/1 and South Africa at 14/1. Madagascar and Benin, meanwhile, are 33/1 and 40/1 outsiders respectively.