By: Lawal Jamiu Olakunle

Momentum heating up, pressure being pilled as teams now battle head to head for the final two.  spots in a decisive fixtures. In which somewhat could be All West Africa or All North Africa Or West Vs North Africa in the Final showpiece of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt. But before then who stays and who go home?

Senegal vs Tunisia

Eagles of Carthage of the Tunis enjoyed an impressive quarter-final win over Madagascar, but the Lions of Teranga of the Senegalese have looked more solid and dangerous during this tournament.

Senegal have employed a high-pressing game which helps them to dictate the pace of play and they appear much more  determined than ever in the tournament.

Senegal had to settle for second spot in Group C after losing 1-0 to Algeria in between a 2-0 triumph over Tanzania and a 3-0 victory versus Kenya.

In the knockout rounds, The Lions of Teranga slimly pass over the Uganda and Benin Republic with a goal to nil margin in a display that looks much more convincing than the scoreline.

Everton’s Idrissa Gueye fired in the crucial goal on 70 minutes against the Squirrels in midweek, when he ran from deep, swapped passes with Sadio Mane and struck from 12 yards.

Gueye said: “We managed to dominate, score and win this match. As soon as we scored, we went forward to attack even more, but the main thing for us is the qualification.”

It has been somewhat of a narrow escapes for the Tunisia after labouring 1-1 with Angola and Mali before a goalless stalemate against the Mauritania in their Group E campaign.

They then needed penalties to edge out Ghana after being outplayed for long periods in another 1-1 draw but came to life against surprise quarter-finalists Madagascar.
Goals from Ferjani Sassi, skipper Youssef Msakni and substitute Naim Sliti secured a convincing 3-0 wins.

Head coach Alain Giresse had been under pressure going into that game, but he said:

 “We’re satisfied with our performance, yet this is not our ambition. We want to do more.”

VERDICT: Football sometimes is unpredictable, but Looking at the  Senegalese Resilient and fiery Frontlines; they’re bound to carry the day against the struggling Tunis.

Algeria Vs Nigeria

It somewhat going to be a battle of the finest when the two teams goes head to head in the second Semifinal of the AFCON tournament. Throughout the campaign, both teams of shown somewhat of a tactical prowess as they’ve been adapting to the ferocity of their opponents.

Algeria stamp in their footprint when breezing through Group C with wins over Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania and then brushing aside Guinea, with nine goals scored in those games and none conceded.

The Desert Foxes looked set to cruise again when Sofiane Feghouli fired them into a 20th-minute lead against the Ivorian and could have increased their leads if not for Baghdad Bounedjah that smashed a penalty against the crossbar.

A match that later ended in a dramatic shoot out with Desert Foxes carrying the day.

Nigeria began Group B with a couple of 1-0 wins over Burundi and Guinea.

 A final group game against Madagascar appeared little more than a formality to seal group leadership, as the Super Eagles only required a result to assure themselves top spot. But A defensive lapse from centre back Leon Balogun saw Nigeria concede early and go on to be upset 2-0 by Madagascar in their last group game.

The Super Eagles were back firing for a 3-2 triumph over Cameroon, with Brace from Odion ighalo  capped with a perfect finish by Alex Iwobi made sure a first half turnaround from the defending champions never materialized.

William Troost-Ekong’s 89th-minute strike then proved decisive in a 2-1 defeat of South Africa, after Bongani Zungu had cancelled out 20years Old Aba born Villarreal’s attacker, Samuel Chukwueze’s opener.

So far, it hasn’t been a smooth route for the West African giant in the knockout stages but that is expected when you’re being pooled against some of the finest teams in the continent.

VERDICT: Looking into the both teams tactical acumen, it’s going to be somewhat of a long night which may later go either ways.

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