Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
When Nigeria faces South Africa and hosts, Cote d’Ivoire trade tackles with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday, four teams with combined eight African titles will batlle it out for two final spots.
Nigeria has won the highest number of African titles out of the four semi finalists after winning three finals.
The Super Eagles won their first title in 1980 after a 3-0 victory against Algeria in the final match in Lagos.
The second title came 14 years later in Tunisia as Clemens Westerhof’s side edged talented Zambian side 2-1.
It took another 19 years before Nigeria could be able to reclaim the title thanks to Sunday Mba’s goal against Burkina Faso in the final of AFCON 2013 in South Africa.
Host, Cote d’Ivoire has won two titles with the first coming at Senegal 1992 when the Elephants edged Ghana 11-10 on penalties.
23 years later, the Elephants reigned supreme in Africa with another 9-8 penalty victory over the Ghana’s Black Stars.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has also won two titles in 1968 and 1974.
The interesting part of DRC title feats was that they won the titles beating the hosts in the semi finals.
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In 1968, they beat hosts, Ethiopia in the last four and also repeated the same feat by securing a win over another host, Egypt in 1974.
This year, they are meeting another host, Cote d’Ivoire in the semi final of Wednesday. Should they get to the final, don’t be surprised to see them win the title.
South Africa is the only team with one AFCON title remaining in the tournament. They won their first ever and only title at home in 1996 and are in search of their elusive second title as they meet Nigeria, a team they are yet to beat as far as the competition is concerned.
The finalists will be determined at the end of the semi finals in Bouake and Abidjan respectively as we approach the end of arguably the best AFCON.
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