AFCON QUARTER FINALS PREVIEW
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has provided plenty of action, no shortage of drama and a collection of comedic refereeing that will live long in the memory. It hasn’t always been great. AFCON Quarter Finals will be shown by pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports with match highlights available free on BBC Sport.
Outfield players forced to play in goal because of a lack of flexibility by organisers unwilling to move away from a rigid schedule, Covid be damned. There is of course a massive black cloud that now hangs over the tournament after the tragedy that occurred during the Cameroon vs Comoros match, but the only thing anybody can do now is just get on with the tournament and hope that the football is of a high standard and creates a great impression of African football.
Our AFCON Quarter Finals preview is brought to you in partnership with EPL Index, and Dave Hendrick – host of the Two Footed Podcast, offering FREE podcasts to football fans.
We’ve reach the quarter-final stage, 16 of the 24 teams who entered the competition have now gone home and we have eight game in total left to play. The first four will take place this Saturday and Sunday and decide who moves on to the Semi-finals. It’s a funny thing at this point in the competition, four teams will lose and head home, while the other four will be two more matches and have a chance to win the competition, or at the very least play in the 3rd and 4th place playoff.
Fun Football Galore
The group stages were fun, the round of 16 has been enjoyable, and now the quarter-finals will hopefully take the competition to another level. Let’s jump in and look at what game are coming our way over the weekend.
On Saturday Gambia will take on hosts Cameroon at the Japoma Stadium in Douala. Gambia earned their spot in this stage of the competition by finishing second in Group F, with victories over Mauritania and Tunisia and a draw with Mali gaining them a respectable seven points and setting up a round of 16 tie with Guinea. A Musa Barrow goal was the difference between the sides, who bought ended the game with 10 men, and allowed Gambia to continue their adventure.
Cameroon, as hosts, are playing under an added amount of pressure but thus far they have been able to meet expectations. Wins over Burkina Faso and Ethiopia and a draw with Cape Verde saw them top Group A comfortably, and move on to a Round of 16 meeting with Comoros. They managed to sneak past the surprise package 2-1 with Vincent Aboubakar continuing his fine run of goalscoring form. Aboubaker has six goals so far, the most in the tournament, and has scored in every game. He’s making his case for not just the Golden Boot, but potentially the player of the tournament as well.
Saturday’s second game, at the Roumde Adija Stadium in Garoua, will see Burkina Faso facing Tunisia. Burkina Faso finished as runners up in Group A, bouncing back from defeat to Cameroon in their first match to record a win over Cape Verde before a disappointing draw with Ethiopia, a game there were expected to win. In the round of 16 they were pushed all the way to penalties by a Gabon team missing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but did hold their nerve and win out on spot-kicks.
Tunisia finished third in Group F, losing to Mali and Gambia while beating hapless Mauritania and snuck into the knockout stages as the 3rd of four third placed teams who were granted passage despite perhaps not earning it on the pitch. Any doubts about their ability to compete in the latter stage were put to bed quickly though, as they caused the shock of the tournament so far with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria. They will fancy their chances this weekend as they aim to make the semi-finals and potentially improve on their 4th placed finish in 2021.
Moving to Sunday Egypt will take on Morocco at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde. Egypt are yet to truly impress in the competition so far from an attacking point of view but have been outstanding defensively. Mo Salah is yet to show the type of form he has displayed for Liverpool but as yet the Pharaohs haven’t needed him to. After losing their opening game to Nigeria by a single goal, they bounced back with 1-0 wins over Guinea-Bissau and Sudan. In the round of 16 they defeated arguably the strongest team in the competition when they overcame the Ivory Coast on penalties after a 0-0 borefest.
Morocco were placed in what many felt might be the toughest group, with Gabon, Ghana and Comoros. They made it look like easy work but were aided by Aubameyang not playing a single game, and Ghana failing to perform at anything close to the level expected. They opened up with a 1-0 win over Ghana, before easing past Comoros 2-0 and finishing their group stage with a 2-2 draw with Gabon. Malawi shocked them by taking a 1-0 lead in their round of 16 match but goals from Youssef En-Nesyri and Achraf Hakimi saw them come back and claim the victory needed to move on to the quarter-finals.
The final game of the weekend was expected to be Senegal vs Mali at the Japoma Stadium, but Mali were upset by Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea are without doubt the biggest surprise package at this stage of the competition and have absolutely earned the right to still be in with a chance of winning the whole thing. They were placed into a very difficult group, and surprised everyone by bouncing back from an opening game defeat to Ivory Coast with wins over the defending Champions Algeria, and Sierra Leone. They advanced to the knockout stages as runners up from Group E and took another big scalp with a penalty shootout victory over Mali after a 0-0 draw.
Senegal were tagged as one of the pre-tournament favourites but haven’t really lived up to the billing despite remaining unbeaten so far. They’ve struggled in front of goal, which is a surprise given their talent. Sadio Mane’s goal in the 97th minute of their first game was their only goal in the group stage, but luckily for them they didn’t conceded a single goal in their three group matches. They did look better in their round of 16 match, beating Cape Verde 2-0, but Sadio Mane was forced off with a likely concussion which surely makes him a doubt for this showdown with Equatorial Guinea.
Four matches across two days on a weekend with no domestic action, so therefore worth your time getting engrossed in the African Cup of Nations.
No matter where you are, you can use your Liberty Shield VPN to find a way to watch the AFCON Quarter Finals. Don’t have a Liberty Shield VPN? You’re missing out! Click right here to check out what we can offer you, and use the code EPL599 to get a £5.99 OFF a monthly subscription (making the cost only £1 for a month) at check-out.
How to watch every AFCON Quarter Final match from anywhere…
Every AFCON Quarter Final match will be streamed live between Sky Sports as well as their respective apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load Sky Sport in the USA, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
THE VIDEO YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH CANNOT BE VIEWED FROM YOUR CURRENT COUNTRY OR LOCATION.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a UK domestic web user to access Sky Sports and BBC Sport live tv streaming.
- Get a UK IP address for AFCON Quarter Finals
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £8.99 per month..
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as British, available from only £9.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
How can I watch AFCON Quarter Finals LIVE on Sky Sports?
The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports showing all 52 games live; around 40 Premier League players are set to feature.
Existing Sky Sports customers can watch with Sky Go on computers or their various apps. If you want to pay-as-you go with no contract then Now TV is your best bet; with their Day, Week and Month passes. Sky has a whopping 11 sports channels. It’s offering covers all sorts, from cricket, motor racing (including Formula 1 and Indycar), boxing, NBA, golf, rugby league, women’s rugby and netball. Sky’s non-Premier League football coverage sits on Sky Sports Football and now includes the Bundesliga as well as both EFL games and Scottish football fixtures.
How can I watch AFCON Quarter Finals on BBC Sport?
The BBC will broadcast 10 games, including two AFCON Quarter Finals, both semis and the final. Sky Sports will show every match in Cameroon, with beIN SPORT, Canal+ and SuperSport among those offering coverage across Africa.
The BBC Sport website will also keep you up to date during the tournament, encompassing news and daily round-ups of matches, with live text coverage from the quarter-finals onwards.
Furthermore; Sky Sports and BBC Sport aren’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Now TV, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!