Ivory Coast recently reached the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a remarkable salvage operation, as they managed to emerge victorious over Mali with a 2-1 score in extra time. Oumar Diakite was the hero of the match, securing the winning goal with a brilliant back-heel in added time. This victory came at a cost as several players, including Diakite, were suspended for their upcoming semi-final against the Democratic Republic of Congo. The win also continued the dominance of Ivory Coast over Mali in the AFCON tournaments, marking their fifth victory since 1994.
The last time Ivory Coast reached the semi-finals was in 2015 when they defeated DR Congo 3-1 before going on to win the tournament for the second time. Despite facing setbacks, Ivory Coast managed to secure their place in the knockout stage and eventually claimed victory over Mali. In another match, South Africa advanced to the semi-finals for the first time since 2000 after defeating Cape Verde in a penalty shootout. Ronwen Williams, the South African goalkeeper, played a pivotal role in the shootout, saving four penalties to lead his team to victory after a 0-0 draw following extra time.
Nigeria secured a 1-0 win over Angola, and DR Congo emerged victorious against Guinea with a 3-1 score, setting the stage for an exciting semi-final round in the Africa Cup of Nations.