5th AFCON encounter between Egypt and DR Congo; First ever for Equatorial Guinea and Guinea

* Egypt and DR Congo have met twice previously in the knock-out rounds of the AFCON

* Each winning once (DR Congo won 3-2 in the semi-final in 1974 and Egypt won 4-1 in the quarter-final in 2006)

* On both occasions the winner of the tie went on to lift the trophy that year – DR Congo (as Zaire) in 1974 and Egypt in 2006

Maravi Express

The Round of 16 fixture of the Côte d’Ivoire 2023 between Egypt and DR Congo tomorrow, will be their fifth Africa Cup of Nations AFCON encounter while that of Equatorial Guinea and Guinea will be their first ever.


Match facts

* In their previous four meetings at the AFCON, the Pharoahs won three and lost one;

*  Egypt and DR Congo have met twice previously in the knock-out rounds of the AFCON, each winning once (DR Congo won 3-2 in the semi-final in 1974 and Egypt won 4-1 in the quarter-final in 2006). On both occasions the winner of the tie went on to lift the trophy that year – DR Congo (as Zaire) in 1974 and Egypt in 2006;

*  Both Egypt and DR Congo qualified for the knockout rounds of Côte dIvoire 2023 with three draws each in their group stage games – only four previous teams have progressed from their group with three draws since 1996 (when groups were made of four teams), and DR Congo (also in 2015) are the first to do so twice (Benin and Tunisia in 2019, Guinea in 2015);

*  Four of Egypt’s last seven AFCON knockout matches have gone to penalties (three wins, one defeat). They’ve failed to score in four of their last five in the knockouts, with the other a 2-1 win over Morocco in the 2021 quarter-final;

*  Egypt qualified from the group stages with three 2-2 draws seeing them into second-place. They were the first side ever to qualify from an AFCON group stage despite conceding 2+ goals in all three games;


*  In the 2023 edition’s group stage, Egypt had 12 more shots than any other team (59) and only Morocco (18) had more shots on target than they did (17). They also faced the joint fewest shots (18, level with DR Congo);

*  Despite only playing 91 minutes in this year’s group stage, Egypt’s Marwan Attia started more sequences that ended with a shot than any other player in the group stages (8);

*  DR Congo scored just two goals in the group stages, only three sides netted fewer (Tunisia, Namibia and Tanzania – all one), while only Côte d’Ivoire (4.4% – 2/46) have a lower shot conversion rate than the Leopards (4.6% – 2/44) among teams to have progressed to the knockout rounds;

* Mostafa Mohamed has scored in each of his three 2023 AFCON matches, the first Egypt player to score in their first three games of an AFCON tournament since Hossam Hassan in 2000. No Egyptian player has scored in their first four at a single AFCON, while the only two to score in four different matches are Ali Abo Gresha (four in 1974) and Gedo (five in 2010);

*  DR Congo’s Chancel Mbemba made the most ball carries (68), carried the ball the furthest distance (790m) and progressed the ball the furthest upfield (633m) of any player in the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations group stages.

Equatorial Guinea v Guinea

* Nzalang Nacional surprisingly topped Group A with seven points while thier opponents finished third in Group C which set up the tricky clash;

* It will be the third time the National Thunder of Guinea have faced a nation for a first time at AFCON at this tournament, drawing 1-1 with Nigeria and winning 4-2 vs Guinea-Bissau;

* For a fourth time this century, Guinea’s first AFCON match win against an opponent has been in the knockout stages – they have lost each of the previous three (1-2 vs Mali in 2004, 0-5 vs Côte d’Ivoire in 2008 and 0-1 vs Gambia in 2021);

* Equatorial Guinea have reached the knockout stages in all four of their AFCONs (2012, 2015, 2021 and 2023). Since the group stage was introduced in 1963, they are the only nation to play in more than one AFCON and reach the knockouts on every occasion;


* Guinea have lost their last six AFCONs at the knockout stage, failing to score in each of their last four of which two were in the last 16 stage in 2019 (0-3 vs Algeria) and 2021 (0-1 vs Gambia);

* Equatorial Guinea have scored nine goals at the Côte d’Ivoire 2023 so far, only two fewer than they netted in their first three editions combined (11 goals in 15 games in 2012, 2015 and 2021). They’ve converted 36% of their efforts in 2023 (9/25) compared to just 8% in those three previous editions (11/143);

* Guinea have scored just four goals in their last eight AFCON matches (W2 D2 L4), never scoring more than once in any of these games;

* Equatorial Guinea have scored four goals in each of their last two AFCONs (4-2 vs Guinea-Bissau, 4-0 vs Côte d’Ivoire), the first side to do so since Zambia in 1996; no one has ever done so in three AFCON games in a row;

* Equatorial Guinea were the top scoring team in the group stage with nine goals, and via an expected goals tally of 3.97 they posted the biggest difference between goals scored and expected goals coming into the knock-out rounds (+5.03).

* José Machín has assisted in all three of his Côte d’Ivoire 2023 appearances for Equatorial Guinea, only the third player on record (2010 onwards) with an assist in three consecutive appearances at AFCON, along with Yaya Touré (2012, Côte d’Ivoire) and Martin Hongla (2022, Cameroon). No one has done so in four in a row in that time;

* Emilio Nsue has scored five goals at this year’s AFCON for Equatorial Guinea – aged 34, he is the oldest player to ever score 5+ goals in a single AFCON tournament, with Kalusha Bwalya in 1996 for Zambia previously the oldest (five aged 32). The only player to net more than five in a tournament aged 30+ is Egypt’s Hossam Hassan in 1998 (seven goals aged 31).

* Winners between Egypt and DR Congo will face that between Equatorial Guinea and Guinea in the quarterfinals on February 2.—Info from CAFonline

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