Wednesday marks the end of the group stages of AFCON 2023, but how many best losers in AFCON 2023 will there be?
This question is pertinent considering the critical situation the host Ivory Coast finds itself in following their scandalous 4-0 defeat at the hands of Equatorial Guinea and the 1-0 loss to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Before the final group stage matches, eight countries have already confirmed their positions in the Round of 16, with the remaining eight yet to be unveiled.
With four matches to be played, Namibia vs Mali, South Africa vs Tunisia, Tanzania vs DR Congo and Zambia vs Morocco, how many best losers in AFCON 2023?
How many best losers in AFCON 2023?
AFCON 2023 has four groups of four teams each, making 24 teams competing for the number one title in Africa.
The first two teams from each group will qualify automatically for the next round. It means 12 teams automatically make it through, but the set for the next round is 16 teams, leaving a shortfall of four teams.
To solve the riddle, four teams from the six that finished third in their groups will vie for the four slots available to complete the set.
It is why Ivory Coast finds itself in a precarious position, as it won only one match, securing three points from a possible nine.
🇨🇮 Ivory Coast head coach, Jean-Louis Gasset has resigned in the middle of #AFCON2023
The country can still qualify for the round of 16 as one of the third-best teams. pic.twitter.com/Jn5iQ4mtYV
— Angu Lesley 🇨🇲🇹🇿 (@angulesley442) January 24, 2024
The fate of the Elephants will be decided after the final group stage matches, but they are hanging on a wing and a prayer.
How many best losers in AFCON 2023 – Ivory Coast seeking divine help
The Elephants of Ivory Coast finished third in Group A with three points and in with a slim chance of making it to the round of 16.
Already, one team that finished third – Ghana is out of the race, as it managed just two points from three matches. The remaining groups already show that the Black Stars cannot finish among the best losers.
How many best losers in AFCON 2023 at the moment?
Ivory Coast have three points with a negative goal difference of -3, Guinea has four points, and Mauritania has three points with a negative goal difference of -1.
Group E and F will finish their matches on Wednesday night and Ivory Coast needs Morocco to beat Zambia to leave the Chipolopolo with two points, and if that does not happen, any shade of loss by Namibia against Mali will see the hosts through to the next round.
The drama at the AFCON 2023 group stage will be put to bed tonight, with the next chapter kicking off on Saturday.
It might not augur well for the hosts to crash out early in the tournament. It is already dented by their woeful performance.
The Elephants of Ivory Coast are now on a wing and prayer, hoping for divine favour to continue their journey at AFCON 2023.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago