HomeSportsFootball2023 AFCON: Semi-final fixtures, TV coverage, results, schedule and kick-off times

2023 AFCON: Semi-final fixtures, TV coverage, results, schedule and kick-off times

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The semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) are on the horizon after a dramatic set of last eight fixtures, which featured more late goals, penalty shootouts and goalkeeping heroics.

In a tournament which has seen a number of fancied sides fall by the wayside, the four teams who now remain are all former champions.

Hosts Ivory Coast, who only just made the knock-out phase, produced a thrilling quarter-final win over Mali to keep their hopes of lifting the trophy on home soil alive.

South Africa’s captain Ronwen Williams was Bafana Bafana’s hero, saving four penalties in a tense shootout against one of this competition’s surprise packages, Cape Verde.

Elsewhere, Nigeria continued to grow into the tournament with a solid win over Angola and DR Congo came from behind to book their place in the last four with a win over Guinea.

Next up come some intriguing semi-final ties, with BBC Two broadcasting the clash between Nigeria and South Africa (Wednesday, 17:00 GMT) and BBC Three showing Ivory Coast against DR Congo (Wednesday 20:00 GMT).

BBC Sport Africa provides you with all the information on the 34th edition of Africa’s biggest sporting event.

What are the semi-final ties?

Nigeria face South Africa in the first last-four tie in Bouake (Friday, 17:00 GMT) with Bafana Bafana boss Hugo Broos saying his team have “nothing to lose” when they take on the Super Eagles.

Nigeria, who will be favourites to reach the final, are looking to win the Nations Cup for a fourth time, having last lifted the trophy in 2013.

The second semi-final pits hosts Ivory Coast against DR Congo in what is expected to be a fervent atmosphere at the Alassane Ouattara stadium in Abidjan (Friday, 20:00 GMT).

DR Congo produced their best performance of the tournament when it mattered most, showing resilience to come from 1-0 down to beat Guinea 3-1 in the last eight.

The Leopards will have to get past an inspired Ivory Coast team who were in danger of leaving their own party early after a woeful group-phase performance.

The host nation sacked manager Jean-Louis Gasset when it looked like they would not qualify for the knockout stages, and interim coach Emerse Fae has since masterminded the Elephants’ wins over holders Senegal and Mali.

Who has impressed – and who hasn’t?

Equatorial Guinea striker Emilio Nsue has spent spells in England with Birmingham City and Middlesbrough
Image caption: Equatorial Guinea striker Emilio Nsue is the top scorer at the finals, with five goals in four appearances

Many bookmakers had Senegal down as favourites to retain the title they won for the first time in Cameroon – and they justified that faith by reaching the last 16 with a 100% record.

However, the Teranga Lions could not get past Ivory Coast despite taking an early lead in their last-16 tie.

Elsewhere, the most impressive performances came from relatively unheralded nations Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde, both topping groups they were given little chance in.

But the National Thunder fell by the wayside against Guinea, with tournament top scorer Emilio Nsue missing a penalty.

Cape Verde won Group B, astonishingly finishing above Ghana and Egypt, who were robbed of Mohamed Salah through injury in their second game of the competition.

But it was a painful end for the Blue Sharks whose Nations Cup run came crashing down in the quarter-finals with a penalties loss to South Africa.

Angola were surprising winners of Group D, and captain Fredy and forwards Mabululu and Gelson Dala were the stand-out performers.

The Palancas Negras were impressive in their last 16 win over Namibia but found Nigeria’s defence much harder to penetrate and were ousted by the Super Eagles in the quarter-finals.

As for Nigeria, they had eased through to the knock-out stages in solid, if unspectacular, fashion, but have grown into the tournament and have emerged as the team to beat.

Morocco, meanwhile, were expected to be strong challengers following their historic run to the semi-finals at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but the Atlas Lions were upset 2-0 by South Africa in the last 16 and their long wait for a second continental title will stretch closer to half a century.

But some other big names have struggled – not least hosts Ivory Coast, who were left sweating on qualification among the four best third-placed sides after losing two of their three group games.

The Elephants redeemed themselves against Senegal and then Mali, and could yet register a third Nations Cup title.

Cameroon also laboured, squeezing through their group before being sent packing by Nigeria, while fellow former winners Ghana, Algeria and Tunisia each only managed to pick up two points in the group stage.

What happened in the group stage?

The 24 teams were split into six groups of four, with the top two in each group and the four best-ranked third-placed sides advancing to the last 16.

Group A: Equatorial Guinea (Q), Nigeria (Q), Ivory Coast (Q), Guinea-Bissau.

Group B: Cape Verde (Q), Egypt (Q), Ghana, Mozambique.

Group C: Senegal (Q), Cameroon (Q), Guinea (Q), The Gambia.

Group D: Angola (Q), Burkina Faso (Q), Mauritania (Q), Algeria.

Group E: Mali (Q), South Africa (Q), Namibia (Q), Tunisia.

Group F: Morocco (Q), DR Congo (Q), Zambia, Tanzania.

Afcon 2023 schedule and kick-off times

After starting games at 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00 (all times GMT) during the group stages, the latter two kick-off times are being used in the knockout stages.

The quarter-finals were held on 2 and 3 February, with both semi-finals scheduled for Wednesday, 7 February.

The final will be on 11 February in Abidjan – a day after the third-placed play-off.

Africa Cup of Nations 2023 fixtures and results

Seko Fofana scores for Ivory Coast against Guinea-Bissau
Image caption: Seko Fofana set the ball rolling for Ivory Coast, but the Elephants endured a rocky path to the quarter-finals

Saturday 13 January

Group A: Ivory Coast 2-0 Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Sunday 14 January

Group A: Nigeria 1-1 Equatorial Guinea, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Group B: Egypt 2-2 Mozambique, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Group B: Ghana 1-2 Cape Verde, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Monday 15 January

Group C: Senegal 3-0 The Gambia, Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro

Group C: Cameroon 1-1 Guinea, Yamoussoukro

Group D: Algeria 1-1 Angola, Stade de la Paix, Bouake

Tuesday 16 January

Group D: Burkina Faso 1-0 Mauritania, Bouake

Group E: Tunisia 0-1 Namibia, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo

Group E: Mali 2-0 South Africa, Korhogo

Wednesday 17 January

Group F: Morocco 3-0 Tanzania, Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro

Group F: DR Congo 1-1 Zambia, San Pedro

Thursday 18 January

Group A: Equatorial Guinea 4-2 Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Group A: Ivory Coast 0-1 Nigeria, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Group B: Egypt 2-2 Ghana, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Friday 19 January

Bebe celebrates scoring a free-kick for Cape Verde
Image caption: Former Manchester United forward Bebe scored a 40-yard free-kick as Cape Verde reached the last 16 with a game to spare

Group B: Cape Verde 3-0 Mozambique, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Group C: Senegal 3-1 Cameroon, Yamoussoukro

Group C: Guinea 1-0 The Gambia, Yamoussoukro

Saturday 20 January

Group D: Algeria 2-2 Burkina Faso, Bouake

Group D: Mauritania 2-3 Angola, Bouake

Group E: Tunisia 1-1 Mali, Korhogo

Sunday 21 January

Group E: South Africa 4-0 Namibia, Korhogo

Group F: Morocco 1-1 DR Congo, San Pedro

Group F: Zambia 1-1 Tanzania, San Pedro

Monday 22 January

Group A: Equatorial Guinea 4-0 Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Group A: Guinea-Bissau 0-1 Nigeria, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Group B: Cape Verde 2-2 Egypt, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Group B: Mozambique 2-2 Ghana, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Tuesday 23 January

Group C: The Gambia 2-3 Cameroon, Bouake

Group C: Guinea 0-2 Senegal, Yamoussoukro

Group D: Angola 2-0 Burkina Faso, Yamoussoukro

Group D: Mauritania 1-0 Algeria, Bouake

Wednesday 24 January

Group E: Namibia 0-0 Mali, San Pedro

Group E: South Africa 0-0 Tunisia, Korhogo

Group F: Tanzania 0-0 DR Congo, Korhogo

Group F: Zambia 0-1 Morocco, San Pedro

Africa Cup of Nations second round fixtures

Mohamed Bayo (right) celebrates scoring for Guinea against Equatorial Guinea
Image caption: Mohamed Bayo (right) fired Guinea into the last eight at Afcon for the first time since 2015

Saturday 27 January

SR1: Angola 3-0 Namibia, Bouake

SR2: Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Sunday 28 January

SR3: Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Guinea, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

SR4: Egypt 1-1 DR Congo aet (7-8 pens), San Pedro

Monday 29 January

SR5: Cape Verde 1-0 Mauritania, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

SR6: Senegal 1-1 Ivory Coast aet (4-5 pens) Yamoussoukro

Tuesday 30 January

SR7: Mali 2-1 Burkina Faso, Korhogo

SR8: Morocco 0-2 South Africa, San Pedro

Quarter-finals

Friday 2 February

QF1: Nigeria 1-0 Angola, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

QF2: DR Congo 3-1 Guinea, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Saturday 3 February

QF3: Mali 1-2 Ivory Coast aet, Bouake

QF4: Cape Verde 0-0 South Africa aet (1-2 pens), Yamoussoukro

Semi-finals

Wednesday 7 February

SF1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF4, Bouake (17:00, live on BBC Two)

SF2: Winner QF3 vs Winner QF2, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (20:00, live on BBC Three)

Third place play-off

Saturday 10 February

SF1 vs SF2 losers, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (20:00)

Final

Sunday 11 February

SF1 vs SF2 winners, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (20:00, live on BBC)

Africa Cup of Nations 2023 top scorers

5: Emilio Nsue (Equatorial Guinea)

4: Gelson Dala (Angola), Mostafa Mohamed (Egypt)

3: Lookman (Nigeria), Mabululu (Angola), Lassine Sinayoko (Mali), Mohamed Bayo (Guinea), Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria), Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)

Afcon 2023 venues

A colourful, bold map showing the outline of Ivory Coast's borders with location markers showing the five host cities for Afcon with stadium names and capacities
Image caption: Six stadiums are being used for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in five host cities across Ivory Coast

Twelve years on from the end of a civil war that split the country in two, Ivory Coast is welcoming Africa’s best footballers for the first time since 1984.

Six stadiums are being used in five host cities, with two in Abidjan.

  • Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (capacity 60,000)
  • Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (capacity 33,000)
  • Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro (capacity 20,000)
  • Stade de la Paix, Bouake (capacity 40,000)
  • Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (capacity 20,000)
  • Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro (capacity 20,000)

All of the stadiums are either new or have undergone renovations ahead of Afcon, with the government spending one billion US dollars on infrastructure projects around the country.

Originally scheduled to be held in June-July 2023, the tournament was moved to avoid a clash with the West African rainy season.

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