Nine years after they last faced off at AFCON, Equatorial Guinea and Senegal meet again at the competition, this time in the quarter finals though. Senegal had an easier route here, seeing off nine-man Cape Verde 2-0 inside 90 minutes to book their place. One stat consistent with Senegal is that they’ve struggled to impose their attacking talent in matches, and have scored just three goals so far in the tournament. Sadio Mane has scored two of those goals and Senegal will be hoping to have him available after being withdrawn with a head injury in their last game. Finalists in the 2019 finals, Senegal have been solid in defence but haven’t had it easy upfront, failing to score in two of their four matches here, and all their goals have come in the second half.
Equatorial Guinea had to go the long way to book their slot at the quarters, beating Mali on post match penalties after a 0-0 draw in regular and extra time. They will have more tired players and though they beat Senegal in their only AFCON meeting in 2012, they go into this game with two straight losses to the Lions of Teranga. Equatorial Guinea have also been a surprise team in this competition and go to this game having lost just once, in their opening game, against Ivory Coast. They actually finished the group stages with more points than Senegal and will be confident of causing an upset here. However, Equatorial Guinea still have to work on their attack, as they haven’t been scoring a lot of goals. Most of their matches have ended with less than three goals, majorly as a result of their low scoring trait. In this competition, Equatorial Guinea have already beaten the defending champions, Algeria, and they go into this game with three straight clean sheets. They haven’t conceded since their opening 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast.
Senegal haven’t lost a game in their last 10 outings, and they have beaten Equatorial Guinea in their last two meetings. In the round of 16, they finished their game in 90 minutes, unlike Equatorial Guinea who had to play 120 minutes and head to penalties. It means Senegal will have better rested players and, in their shape, they only need to improve in attack to see off Equatorial Guinea. A win for Senegal looks likeliest.