AFCON 2024 Permutations: What each team needs to do to qualify for the knockout stages

We're currently at the business end of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024), as we draw ever closer to the knockout stages.

A total 24 teams made it through to this tournament, and eight of those sides will not qualify for the Round of 16.

Which sides will be left standing, and what can they do to advance to the next round?

Nigeria's Super Eagles secured a place in the knockout stages with a 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau, in what was their 100th game at the AFCON.

On that note, we'll take a look at each team's chances of reaching the last 16, and what's required for them to get there.

Group A

AFCON 2024 permutations
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Group A standings are finalised, and Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria's Super Eagles have qualified for the next round.

This has not been a pleasant tournament for Guinea-Bissau, who have been eliminated. However, hosts Ivory Coast are still in contention with three points. For the Elephants to qualify, one of these will need to happen:

  • Namibia and Tunisia both lose.
  • Zambia and Tanzania both lose.

Group B

AFCON 2024 permutations
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In Group B, Cape Verde clinched the top spot, while Egypt finished in second place. Mozambique and Ghana have been eliminated from this tournament.

Group C

AFCON 2024 permutations
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Senegal finished at the top of Group C with a perfect three wins from three, earning a spot in the Round of 16.

Second-placed Cameroon and third-placed Guinea will also advance to the next round, as both teams amassed four points from a possible nine.

Meanwhile Gambia have been eliminated, after a disappointing campaign that saw them lose three of three group games.

Group D

AFCON 2024 permutations
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Angola defeated Burkina Faso on Tuesday, claiming the top spot in Group D. In spite of their loss, Burkina Faso will also advance to the knockout stages due to their second-placed finish.

Meanwhile Mauritania secured a place in the Round of 16 for the first time in history, after a surprising 1-0 win over 2019 champions Algeria. The Fennec Foxes have been eliminated from this competition.

Group E

AFCON 2024 permutations
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At the time of writing, Mali are the only team in Group E to book a place in the Round of 16. They have four points in their first two games, and are currently leading the group standings.

That said, South Africa's Bafana Bafana will take on Tunisia in their final group game. They could potentially lose by up to a two-goal margin and still qualify. In contrast, Tunisia can only qualify if they defeat Bafana Bafana.

On the other hand, Namibia would need at least a draw against Mali in order to guarantee a place in the last 16, although there's a scenario where they lose and still get in.

Group F

AFCON 2024 permutations
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In Group F, Morocco are already through to the next round. They'll face Zambia in their last group match. Chipolopolo will need a positive result from this match, as they would be eliminated with a loss.

Meanwhile, Tanzania and DR Congo will go up against each other in a must-win for the Taifa Stars. Anything besides a win would not be enough for Tanzania to qualify.

In contrast, DR Congo will make it through if they don't lose to the Taifa Stars.

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Kelechi Udoka

Kelechi is an avid Enyimba fan who enjoys writing about the beautiful game. He has written thousands of articles for a few publications over the years.