AFCON 2023 Semi Final: Ivory Coast vs DR Congo Preview, Squad News & Kick Off


The stage is set for an enthralling encounter in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 semi-finals as Ivory Coast locks horns with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ivory Coast’s dramatic journey to this stage, coupled with DR Congo’s dogged perseverance, sets up a semi-final clash that is nothing short of spectacular. As the host nation eyes glory reminiscent of their 2015 triumph, DR Congo aims to upset the odds and carve their path to the final.

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo: A Rollercoaster to the Semifinals

Ivory Coast’s path to the semi-finals has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. Qualifying from the group stages by a narrow margin and undergoing a managerial change mid-tournament, the Elephants have showcased resilience and determination. Overcoming Senegal and Mali in the knockout stages, albeit with significant challenges, highlights their fighting spirit. Despite the suspension of two key players, the host nation’s ambition remains undeterred as they aim to replicate their 2015 success.

Conversely, DR Congo’s journey has been marked by grit and tenacity. Despite a shaky start in the group stages, the Leopards showcased their mettle by triumphing over Egypt in penalties and convincingly defeating Guinea in the quarter-finals. Their only decisive win in regular time during this tournament suggests a turning tide, potentially giving them the psychological edge needed for the semi-finals.

Head-to-Head Analysis

The historical encounters between Ivory Coast and DR Congo offer a fascinating backdrop to this semi-final clash. In their last three to four games, the teams have demonstrated closely contested battles, with Ivory Coast generally having the upper hand. The most notable encounter came in the 2015 AFCON semi-finals, where Ivory Coast emerged victorious on their way to lifting the trophy. However, DR Congo’s resilience and the evolution of their squad suggest that past results may not dictate the outcome of this match.

Key Players to Watch

The spotlight shines brightly on Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier and DR Congo’s stalwart Chancel Mbemba. Aurier’s leadership and penalty prowess, evidenced in their shootout victory over Senegal, along with his significant contribution to their 2015 semi-final win, make him a player of interest. Mbemba, seeking redemption from the 2015 defeat and coming off a goal-scoring performance in the quarter-finals, will be crucial for DR Congo’s defensive resilience and offensive threats.

Tactical Preview

Ivory Coast’s tactical adaptability, seen in their ability to secure crucial wins despite adversities, will be key. Their capacity to perform under pressure, especially with a depleted squad, showcases their depth and the tactical acumen of coach Emerse Faé. DR Congo, on the other hand, will likely leverage their newfound confidence from the quarter-final win, focusing on breaking their semi-final jinx and exploiting any vulnerabilities in the Ivorian defense.

As Ivory Coast and DR Congo prepare to face off in this highly anticipated AFCON 2023 semi-final, the stakes could not be higher. With both teams overcoming significant hurdles to reach this stage, the match promises to be a testament to the spirit of African football. Will Ivory Coast move one step closer to becoming the first host nation to win since 2006, or will DR Congo secure their second-ever head-to-head victory at the AFCON finals? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: football fans are in for a treat.

FAQs – AFCON 2023 Ivory Coast vs DR Congo Semi Final

What has been Ivory Coast’s journey to the AFCON 2023 semi-finals?

How did DR Congo reach the semi-finals of AFCON 2023?

Who are the key players to watch in the Ivory Coast vs DR Congo semi-final?

What is the historical head-to-head record between Ivory Coast and DR Congo in AFCON?

How have both teams performed in their journey to the AFCON 2023 semi-finals?

What are the tactical considerations for Ivory Coast and DR Congo in the upcoming semi-final?

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