AFCON SEMI FINALS PREVIEW
We are now at the business end of the African Cup of Nations with just four teams left and all of them dreaming of taking home the trophy, and a different narrative surrounding each of them. It hasn’t always been great. The AFCON Semi Finals will be shown by pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports with match highlights available free on BBC Sport.
Regardless of who wins the competition, the victorious players will become Icons in their home land and be remembered for decades to come. The national pride it will instil can lead to a new generation of star talent inspired to do work even harder to emulate their heroes.
Cameroon are the host nation and five time winners of the competition. They are the second most successful team in AFCON history and are chasing their first success on home soil. Given the political climate in Cameroon, with mass human rights violations taking place under the current leadership, the people off Cameroon have been able to unite behind their football team and find hope in their run to the semi-final. The tragedy that occurred during the last 16 match with Comoros, which saw eight people lose their lives, has certainly put a cloud over the competition as a whole but perhaps success can lighten the mood.
Cameroon have looked very comfortable in the tournament so far, topping their group in undefeated fashion before seeing of Comoros and Gambia but critics will saw that they have had a favourable draw. That is true but they can only beat what is put in front of them and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Two wins and a draw saw them past Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Ethiopia in their group stage and they’ve continued to roll.
Here Cometh The Egyptian King
They’ll need to be at their very best to overcome an Egyptian team with something to play. Egypt are the most successful nation in AFCON history with seven triumphs, the last one which came in 2010. This team has struggled to live up to expectations placed upon them by fans who were spoiled by the Golden Era. Egypt won three AFCON’s in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010 and that team is looked at as the country’s best ever. Their failures to qualify for a World Cup are overlooked because of their continental dominance, and even this current team qualify for the 2018 World Cup hasn’t taken the pressure off.
Mo Salah is very much a one man band in terms of top class players when it comes to the group. He’s a player deserving of far greater support but unfortunately it’s just not there. Talented youngsters like Ramadan Sobhi, who should have formed the core of Salah’s supporting cast simply haven’t developed the way it was hoped they would and the Liverpool man has had to carry his team to this stage. His goal and assist against Morocco were just the latest in a long line of match winning performances by Salah, arguably the best player on the planet right now.
Second Time Lucky For Senegal
His club teammate Sadio Mane will lead a Senegal team, who have improved as the tournament has gone on, into the AFCON Semi Finals. Senegal’s narrative is the hunt for retribution after losing the final of the 2019 AFCON to Algeria. Favoured to take the title for the first time, Senegal fell behind to a Baghdad Bounedjah goal in the second minute and couldn’t find an equaliser. It was the second time they had fallen at the final hurdle and the memories remain prevalent for Mane and his teammates who feel they let themselves down.
Senegal started the tournament slowly. Winning one and drawing two of their group stage matches while scoring only one goal. A 2-0 victory over Cape Verde in the round of 16 was followed by a 3-1 win over Equatorial Guinea in the quarter finals to seal a place in the semi-finals. With Ismaila Sarr back with the squad and scoring in that quarter-final, they do look a more fearsome team going forward, with Mane no longer being required to carry the burden.
Waiting for Senegal will be the underdogs of the final four, Burkina Faso. The team without real star names who have shown an outstanding spirit and togetherness, proving that the sum of the parts is much stronger than the individual pieces. We shouldn’t be surprised, they finished 3rd in 2017 and were runners up in 2013. They’ve proven they can compete with the elite of African football over the past decade, and this time they want to shock the continent by winning it all.
If there is a “star” in the Burkina Faso team it’s probably Bertrand Traore based on reputation but the best player, without a shadow of a doubt, is Edmond Tapsoba. The Bayer Leverkusen central defender is one of the best young defenders in world football and has further enhanced his reputation with some commanding displays in the tournament so far. He turns 23 on the day of the AFCON Semi Finals and will hope to celebrate by claiming a place in the final along with his band of brothers.
Senegal take on Burkina Faso on Wednesday at 8pm in the fantastic Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, while on Thursday at 8pm it will be the hosts Cameroon against Egypt in Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, also located in the nations capital. Each teams know that either way, they have one more game after this but none of them have any interest in the 3rd and 4th placed match. All focus will be on reaching the Final.
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 ROUTER50 to get a 50% OFF a VPN Router (making the hardware cost only £7.99) at check-out.
How to watch both AFCON Semi Final matches from anywhere…
Every AFCON Semi 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 Semi 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 Semi 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 Semi Finals on BBC Sport?
The BBC will broadcast 10 games, including two AFCON Quarter Finals, both Semi Finals 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!