AFCON Round of 16: Full Schedule, Preview & Predictions

The group stage of AFCON 2023 is now complete, with 16 teams reaching the knockout part of the competition. Most top teams managed to make it to the backend of the tournament including favourites such as Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt and Ivory Coast. 

Reigning champions Senegal seemed to be in top form, ending up as the only team to win all three games in their group. They will however face a tough test in Ivory Coast in the Round of 16, after a poor showing by the tournament hosts in the group stage. Ivory Coast sneaked into the knockout stage with just the solitary win, as one of the top 4 third place teams. 

Surprise Group A winners, Equatorial Guinea, managed to win two games and pull off a tie against Nigeria to advance. They will face Guinea in the Round of 16 while second place Nigeria will face Cameroon. 

Three-time winners Nigeria will play Cameroon for the first time since they met at the same stage of this tournament in 2019. Most experts expect Nigeria to take the win with Napoli superstar Victor Osimhen at striker and a number of top international pros.

Nigeria during the TotalEnergies Caf Africa Cup of Nations
IMAGO / Shengolpixs

In Group B, Cape Verde are on top after group favourites Egypt could only muster three draws in their three matches. Cape Verde will face Mauritania at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan in what’s expected to be a one-sided matchup. If Cape Verde do make it to the quarters they may have the tough task of getting through tournament frontrunners Morocco to make the semis.

Egypt, who lost star Mohamed Salah to injury in the second game of the group stage, will meet DR Congo in the next round. With Salah unlikely to return, Egypt will need the others to step up to have any chance of making it deep in the competition.

Angola and Burkina Faso qualified from Group D and will play Namibia and Mali respectively in the next round. Angola have been one of the more entertaining sides at AFCON, scoring six goals while only conceding three. Namibia came third in Group E, after beating Tunisia 1-0 on January 16th. 

Mali were able to top Group E to get their knockout matchup against Burkina Faso in the Round of 16. As slight favourites, they will like their chances to make the quarters and maybe even the semi finals if they can get past the winner of Senegal-Ivory Coast.

Morocco, who in 2022 became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, topped Group F with seven points. They scored five goals in their matches and only conceded one. Their opponent in the Round of 16 will be South Africa who were runners-up in Group E, finishing behind Mali.

Morocco are expected to be very heavy favorites in this matchup but South Africa has shown it’s ability to compete with top teams.

AFCON- Knockout Stage Schedule

The Round of 16 will begin on Saturday, January 27th and go on until Tuesday, January 30th. There will then be a 2 day gap between the quarterfinals which begin on the 2nd and 3rd of February. The Semi finals will take place on the 7th and 8th of Feb, and the tournament will end with the Final on the 11th.

FInd below a full schedule of all upcoming AFCON Round of 16 matchups, including venue and kick-off time.

Saturday, January 27

Angola v Namibia

Venue: Stade de la Paix, Bouake

Kick-off: 17:00 GMT

Nigeria v Cameroon

Venue: Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Sunday, January 28

Equatorial Guinea v Guinea

Venue: Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Kick-off: 17:00 GMT

Egypt v DR Congo

Venue: Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Monday, January 29

Cape Verde v Mauritania

Venue: Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Kick-off: 17:00 GMT

Senegal v Ivory Coast

Venue: Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Tuesday, January 30

Mali v Burkina Faso

Venue: Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo

Kick-off: 17:00 GMT

Morocco v South Africa

Venue: Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro

Kick-off 20:00 GMT