AFCON 2024 Talking Points: Bafana Bafana & Mali secure quarter-final spots

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) Round of 16 came to an end on Tuesday, as four teams battled it out for two quarter-final spots.

Here's a recap of Tuesday's games:

AFCON 2024: Tuesday's talking points

AFCON 2024 Talking Points Mali
Photo by Icon Sport

Heartache for Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's AFCON campaign had gradually gotten worse over the course of the group stages. They started with a victory, followed by a draw, then a loss.

It wasn't really a surprise that Hubert Velud's troops were the underdogs on Tuesday, especially considering Mali were on a 10-match unbeaten run.

It didn't take long for Mali to get on the scoresheet, as Burkina Faso's Edmond Tapsoba scored an own goal just three minutes into the game.

In spite of Burkina Faso's best efforts to restore parity, the Malians doubled their lead two minutes into the second half.

Burkina Faso pulled one back with over 30 minutes left on the clock, and while they did score once more, their second goal was flagged offside.

Mali were able to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

Relentless Bafana Bafana upset Morocco

Morocco squared off against South Africa's Bafana Bafana on Tuesday.

On an eight-match unbeaten run (6 wins, 2 draws), the Atlas Lions were the clear favourites to win.

However, it was Bafana Bafana that took the lead shortly before the 60-minute mark.

Morocco tried to get back on level terms, and they were rewarded with a penalty after Mothobi Mvala's handball.

Interestingly, the Atlas Lions were unable to convert from the spot, as Achraf Hakimi's shot hit the crossbar.

Morocco were dealt another huge blow as Sofyan Amrabat was sent off just six minutes before the full-time whistle.

Unfortunately for the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists, Mamelodi Sundowns' Teboho Mokoena doubled South Africa's lead, ensuring Bafana Bafana would advance to the last eight at Morocco's expense.

Play of the day

Our play of the day is centred on Achraf Hakimi's penalty against South Africa.

The PSG player was unable to capitalise on a golden opportunity that could have potentially turned Morocco's fortunes around.

What's next?

AFCON 2024 will take a break for two days, after which the quarter-finals will begin.

These are the match-ups for the last eight:

  • Nigeria vs Angola
  • DR Congo vs Guinea
  • Mali vs Ivory Coast
  • Cape Verde vs South Africa
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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.