AFCON 2023: Will Morocco Outshine South Africa in the Round of 16 Showdown?

Morocco at afcon 2023

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) serves up another mouth- watering Round of 16 clash as Group F winners Morocco lock horns with Group E runners-up South Africa at the Stade Laurent Pokou on Tuesday evening.

Kick-off at 8pm GMT promises a battle of wills between two teams with contrasting strengths and AFCON legacies.

Morocco, the indomitable Atlas Lions, roared through their group stage, claiming seven points with wins against Tanzania and Zambia and a draw against DR Congo. Their offensive prowess is undeniable, having netted five goals while conceding just one. This scoring spree extends further, boasting a remarkable 12-game AFCON scoring streak last interrupted in 2017.

However, knockout stages have historically proven tricky for Morocco, with four of their last five AFCON eliminations coming in this crucial phase.

South Africa, the spirited Bafana Bafana, arrive with the momentum of a second-place finish in Group E. Despite a loss to Mali, they bounced back with wins against Namibia and a gritty draw against Tunisia. Their attacking quartet boasts four goals, while the defence held firm, conceding just two.

However, South Africa’s recent AFCON knockout record paints a less rosy picture, with just two wins in their last eight appearances.

Head-to-head, the two nations are locked in a historical stalemate. Each team claims a victory and two draws in their last four AFCON encounters, with Morocco’s 2019 win a recent testament to their edge.

The victor of this electrifying encounter faces Cape Verde in the quarter-finals on February 3rd. With everything on the line, expect a tense battle where experience and hunger collide in a bid for AFCON glory.

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