NSW African Cup group stage wrap-up: eight teams advance to quarterfinals

As the group stage of the New South Wales (NSW) African Cup wraps up last weekend with an intense final group stage matches in round 5, eight teams have booked their spot in the quarterfinals which is scheduled for Saturday 19th November 2022 at the prestigious Western Sydney Wanderers Football Park in Rooty Hills.

Defending champions South Sudan, was the first team to progress to this year’s quarterfinals following their unbeaten run in group A. All the other teams had to fight for a space in their last set of matches which were very much exciting, entertaining and electrifying to watch.

In group A, Ghana saw a disappointing end to the tournament after debutants, Congo Brazzaville stunned them with a 1-0 shocking defeat to claim the second spot. Omar slotted home a header to give the Congolese a vital win in the nail-biting encounter in which him and another player were sent off.  

Following their win, Congo Brazzaville coach, Bennie was delighted to overpowered Ghana in group A with a shocking defeat.

“We came into the match as the underdogs, but the mentality of the players was great. We showed resilient and played as a team even though we has two red cards. We always believe we would cause an upset against Ghana to be able to play the quarterfinals”

“Being able to defeat one of the toughest teams in our group shows that we have the ability to go beyond our expectations. We are now in the next stage of the competition which is the quarterfinals, and our objective is to face our next opponent and win the match”, coach Bennie said.

The match winner who scored the only goal for Congo Brazzaville, Omar Tooray said he was excited to score the goal, but disappointed for the red card which he said he deserves due to his reaction.

“I think I have a wonderful game in which I scored the only goal to earn the team a win. It’s a good feeling that we advanced to the quarterfinals, but I blame myself for my action and I want to say sorry to the fans”, Omar stated after the match.

Sudan and Central Africa Republic (CAR) are the two teams that advanced to the quarterfinals from Group B. The Central African Republic side surprised many in the tournament following their remarkable performance in the group stage. They defeated Liberia 5-4 in a mouth-watering match that saw fans going bizarre.   

Last season, third place winners, South Africa booked their place in the quarterfinals after finishing second in Group C. The Bafana Bafana boys beat Madagascar 2-0 to seal their spot. Group leaders, Zimbabwe, had a one-all draw with Cameroon, topping the group with 13 points.

Cape Verde wrapped up the group stage with a resounding 6-0 win over Togo to finished top in Group D. Hassan Jalloh netted a hat-trick for the second time in the tournament increasing his goal tally to 7 in the race for the golden boot. John Robert, Sallu Kamara and Abdul Cyclus Kamara all provided a goal each to earn the blue shark an important win.

“I think it was a great start today. The boys came ready, we started well, and we score a couple of goals earlier in the first half which kind of put their spirit down”.

“I came from a very tough season and you know I have been scoring for like-maybe couple of months in Europe. So I came in here with that momentum and hunger to score goals by making use of every single chance that I get”.

“My aim is to win the tournament with my team, but as an individual I am trying to win the golden boot”, Hassan Jalloh highlighted.

Nigeria got a 2-1 win over DR Congo in a decisive match to clinch the second place in group D as they progress to the quarterfinals. It was a tight match with a number of sideline incidents on the benches as both technical teams were under pressure to win.

The quarterfinals are now set up with South Sudan facing Central African Republic in a match many fans believe will end in favour of the defending champions. But according to some spectators, the Central Africa Republic team is not a push over and the South Sudan boys should not underrates them as they might spring a surprise.

In the other quarterfinal matches, Sudan will lock horns with Congo Brazzaville, Zimbabwe will be looking forward to continue their good form in the tourney as  they hope to record a win when they face Nigeria, while unbeaten Cape Verde will be facing South Africa.



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