The 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) continues to heat up as host nation Algeria and Ivory Coast face off for a place in the semi-final. The match, set to take place at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Friday, promises to be a thrilling affair as both teams come off of successful group-stage campaigns.
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Algeria, also known as the Fennec Foxes, delivered another impressive performance as they secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Mozambique on Saturday. Hocine Dehiri opened the scoring in the seventh minute, and despite missing several opportunities to add to the scoreline, the Foxes were able to hold on for the win. With three consecutive CHAN matches without conceding a goal, Algeria finished top of Group A.
Ivory Coast, also known as the Elephants, began their CHAN journey with a convincing 3-1 win over Uganda. Karamoko Sankara and Patrick Ouotro both scored early goals, and even though Moses Waiswa pulled one back for Uganda, Aubin Kramo sealed the deal for Ivory Coast in the 78th minute. With four points from three Group B fixtures, the Elephants finished second behind Senegal.
Algeria’s Hocine Dehiri, who scored in his return to the lineup, is expected to retain his spot in the starting XI. Goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz, who has recorded three clean sheets in a row, is also likely to feature. For Ivory Coast, 19-year-old Karamoko Sankara, who was directly involved in two of the team’s three goals against Uganda, is one to watch. Midfielder Mohamed Zougrana, who served a one-game suspension, is now eligible to play.
Both teams have shown they are capable of scoring goals, so we can expect at least one at both ends of the pitch. However, we predict that Algeria will edge out Ivory Coast and emerge victorious in the end. With a 2-1 scoreline in favor of the host nation.
In the last five meetings between the two teams, there have been two wins for each side and one draw. With little to choose between the sides, Friday’s match is sure to be a closely contested battle.