AFCON 2023 Quarter Finals Set: South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria Among Teams Through to Last 8

AFCON 2023 Quarter Finals Set: South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria Among Teams Through to Last 8

Joel Reyes
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Eight teams have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • The host nation, Ivory Coast made it to the last 8 after beating Senegal on Monday
  • South Africa also advanced to the quarter-finals with a major upset over Morocco

The cast is complete for the last 8 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Former champions, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria are among the teams who will compete in the next round.

Sports Brief looks at the countries that made it to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2023.

Franck Kessie, Victor Osimhen, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, AFCON, AFCON 2023, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea, DR Congo
Ivory Coast's Franck Kessie and Nigeria's Victor Osimhen in action at AFCON 2023. Images: Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

Who are the AFCON 2023 quarterfinalists?

South Africa

Bafana Bafana recorded a massive upset on Tuesday, beating Morocco 2-0 in the Round of 16 to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Evidence Makgopa opened the scoring for South Africa in the 57th minute before Teboho Mokoena sealed the win for Bafana with a goal in second-half injury time.

They will next face Cape Verde in the quarters.

Ivory Coast

The hosts are still alive in this year's Africa Cup of Nations. The Elephants got a second chance after Morocco's win in their group finale and they made the most of it, beating Senegal in the round of 16 to book a spot in the quarter-finals.

They had a terrible start, though, in the last 16 as Habib Diallo quickly scored for the defending champions in the fourth minute.

Ivory Coast got a lifeline late in the second half when Nicolas Pepe was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Edouard Mendy after a VAR review.

Franck Kessie took full advantage, scoring the ensuing penalty to tie the match at 1-1. The contest eventually went to a penalty shootout, with the Elephants prevailing 5-4. Kessie was again the hero, scoring the match-winning spot kick.


The Super Eagles are flying high in this year's AFCON. They stormed past Cameroon in the round of 16, recording an impressive 2-0 victory.

Ademola Lookman starred for Nigeria, scoring a brace against the Indomitable Lions. He opened his account in the 36th minute, benefiting from poor goalkeeping by Cameroon's Fabrice Ondoa.

He sealed the victory for the Super Eagles with a spectacular volley in the 90th minute.

They will next face Angola in the quarter-finals this coming Friday, per CAF.


Syli National booked a spot in the quarter-finals with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.

Mohamed Bayo broke Nzalang Nacional's hearts, scoring the match-winner deep into second-half injury time to send Guinea to the last 8.

They will next face DR Congo in the quarter-finals.

DR Congo

The Leopards are through to the last 8 of the Africa Cup of Nations despite not winning a single match in regulation time thus far.

They recorded three draws in the group stage before beating Egypt 8-7 in a penalty shootout on Sunday.

Lionel Mpasi sent DR Congo fans into a frenzy when he scored the match-winning spot kick against the seven-time AFCON champs.

Cape Verde

The Blue Sharks remained on course to win their first AFCON title after they defeated Mauritania 1-0 in their round-of-16 clash on Monday.

Ryan Mendes scored the match-winning penalty in the 88th minute after Mauritania goalkeeper, Babacar Niasse brought down Benchimol inside the box.


Angola secured a place in the quarters after crushing Namibia 3-0 on Saturday.

Palancas Negras managed to win comfortably despite going down to 10 men in the 17th minute following a red card by Neblu.

Gelson Dala came to Angola's rescue, scoring a double in the round of 16. Mabululu also scored in that matchup to send Angola to the quarter-finals, where they will face in-form Nigeria.

Both Gelson and Mabululu are right in the thick of the Golden Boot race, per the BBC. A deep run in the tournament may see them claim the top prize.


Mali booked a place in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Burkina Faso in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.

The Eagles had a dream start, with Burkina Faso's Edmond Tapsoba scoring an own goal in the third minute. Lassine Sinayoko doubled Mali's advantage in the 47th minute, a goal which proved to be the match-winner.

Defending champion curse strikes again

Sports Brief has also reported on Senegal failing to break the defending champion curse in this year's AFCON.

No African champion has defended their tournament crown since Egypt won their third straight title in 2010.

Hosts, Ivory Coast thwarted Senegal's repeat bid with a come-from-behind victory against the Teranga Lions.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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