Final fixtures of Africa Cup of Nation’s Matchday 1 take place today and tomorrow, with highlight being Ivory Coast x South Africa
AFCON 2019 kicked off last Friday, 21 June, with some interesting clashes. Hosts Egypt prevailed over Zimbabwe 1-0, while the Super Eagles had a closer match than expected in their 1-0 win over competition debutants Burundi. Also playing their first ever AFCON, Madagascar secured a surprising 2-2 draw with Guinea. Additionally, powerhouses Morocco, Senegal and Algeria secured wins. With the first seven matches played, we now have the remaining five to go this Monday and Tuesday, with The Elephants and The Bafana Bafana’s clash undoubtedly catching everyone’s attention.
First things first
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Monday begins precisely with the most anticipated game of these five left to conclude Matchday 1 of AFCON 2019. In Cairo’s Al-Salam Stadium, Ivory Coast clash against South Africa, who are in the so-called “Group of Death” alongside Morocco and underdogs Namibia. The last two played yesterday when Morocco dispatched the Namibians 1-0.
With bets putting them as the sixth favourite side to claim this 32nd edition of the tournament, Ivory Coast, a tough squad to play against, boast talents like Lille’s rising star Nicolas Pépé and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace. The Elephants also have the recent experience of lifting the 2015 AFCON cup, in addition to having won in 1992.
On the other side of the pitch, though, they will be facing South Africa. Though the Bafana Bafana lack major stars in their roster this time around, the 1996 champions should definitely never be ruled out. However, Oddsshark still puts Ivory Coast to take this one at 2.15, while South Africa are priced at 3.65 to be the victors. In the middle, a draw comes in at 3.10.
Monday is just getting started, though, since Tunisia and Mali also take to the pitch as favourites to win their matches. The Eagles of Carthage, as they are known, Tunisia always reach the latter stages of the tournament, with a championship in 2004 and a second place finish all the way back in ’65 as their best results. If you decide to bet US$10 on Ben Youssef and Khaoui’s side at 1.71, you could get US$17.10 in your pocket. Angola, on the other hand, stand at 5.05 stakes of winning the clash.
Mali and Cameroon lead bets to prevail in their matches
On Monday’s last game, Mali take on Mauritania, who will by playing their first ever AFCON tournament along with Madagascar and Burundi. Question is, will the Malian Eagles begin their campaign successfully and go on to lift their first cup? After all, they have nearly pulled it off – coming in as runners-up in 1972 and having two third-place finishes to show for. Betters put the tough Malians at 1.76 to prevail and Mauritania are at 4.85, whereas a draw is priced at 3.40.
On the following day, Tuesday 25 June, Ismailia will be home to the Cameroon x Guinea-Bissau match. Defending champions of the competition and at five cups only behind Egypt as the most successful AFCON team at seven wins, coach Clarence Seedorf’s squad should not face major obstacles in defeating Guinea-Bissau if it comes down to betters’ opinions.
According to Oddsshark, the Indomitable Lions have 1.62 chances of defeating Guinea-Bissau, who lost to Cameroon in their three prior matches. Guinea-Bissau are clearly the underdogs in this one, coming in at 6.35 odds of pulling off an upset.
Ghana are favourites to win their opener against Benin
In the closing game of the AFCON 2019 Matchday 1, Ghana take on Benin at Ismailia Stadium in Ismailia. Eyeing their fifth title and their first since 1982 – and having come just short after losing to Cameroon in the semi-finals of the last edition – Thomas Partey and the Ayew brothers’ squad are looking fit.
The Black Stars, who with Benin are in Group F together with Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau, are at 1.74 odds of dispatching underdogs Benin, who in turn come in at 5.65 to pull off what would be a shocking win.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round 1 final matches Preview:
Monday, 24 June
(2.15) Ivory Coast x South Africa (3.65); draw (3.10)
(1.71) Tunisia x Angola (5.05); draw (3.60)
(1.76) Mali x Mauritania (4.85); draw (3.40)
Tuesday, 25 June
(1.62) Cameroon x Guinea-Bissau (6.35); draw (3.45)
(1.74) Ghana x Benin (5.65); draw (3.25)11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. DOWNLOAD NOW!!!