CAF Under-23 AFCON semi-finals ready to kick off

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CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)

After the group stages of the TotalEnergies CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the stage is now set for the semi finals of the competition set for Tuesday, July 4.

Hosts Morocco and Guinea emerged as the qualifiers from Group A, held in Rabat, while defending champions Egypt and Mali secured their spots from Group B in Tangier.

Egypt would now face Guinea in the first semi-final clash on Tuesday in Tangier, whilst Morocco, finishing atop Group A with an impressive nine points, would go head-to-head against Mali.

In addition to vying for the tournament trophy, the teams are also in pursuit of the three available slots for Africa in the 2024 Olympics Games in Paris next year.

Heading into the semi-final stage, Egypt boasts a solid record of seven points, having scored three goals and conceded none, but must guard against a tactically astute Malian team that has netted five goals while conceding two.

Mario Rogerio Reis Micale, coach of the Egypt U23 team, acknowledged the challenging nature of the semi-final stage.

“Our upcoming opponents, Mali, are a formidable team, and the match would be highly demanding. We need to work hard and maintain focus for this encounter,” he emphasized.

Morocco, buoyed by the support of their home crowd, would rely on leading striker Adessamad Ezzalzouli, who has three goals to his name, as they aim to secure quick qualification for the Olympics.

Coach Issame Charaï expressed the team’s determined approach, stating, “We treat every match as if it were a final because our goal is to qualify for the Olympics and clinch the championship title.”

To reach the knockout stage, Morocco kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Guinea, followed by a resounding 5-1 win against Ghana.

They sealed their progression with a 1-0 triumph over Congo Brazzaville in a Saturday night match.

With the stage set for intense battles and coveted Olympic qualification on the line, football enthusiasts can eagerly anticipate the upcoming semi-final clashes in the TotalEnergies U23 AFCON.

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