FOLLOW LIVE – AFCON semifinals features two enticing matchups

Kyle Bonn
NBC Sports

The Africa Cup of Nations has seen a host of upsets through the knockout round, but still the top three FIFA-ranked sides in Africa have reached the semifinals of the competition as the tournament nears a thrilling conclusion.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]

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First up, Senegal and Tunisia – the top two FIFA-ranked teams in Africa – meet in Cairo. Sadio Mane leads Senegal into the semifinals, one of four players in the tournament with three goals, battling Algeria’s Adam Ounas and Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo for top scorer in the competition.

Senegal has won its last two matches by a 1-0 score, squeaking past Uganda and Benin in its two knockout-stage wins. They’ll have their biggest defensive test yet against a Tunisia side that put three past Madagascar last time out in the team’s first victory of the tournament having drawn all of its previous four matches.

In the later bout, Nigeria takes on cinderella story Algeria, who came into the competition ranked 68th in the world and have reached their first AFCON semifinals since winning their only title in 1990. Algeria has conceded just a single goal all tournament, to Ivory Coast last time out in the 1-1 draw that saw them advance via penalties. Nigeria, meanwhile, has needed a pair of second-half winners to get them past Cameroon and South Africa in the knockout stage in exciting one-goal wins.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Sunday, July 14

Semifinals:
Senegal v. Tunisia – 12 p.m. ET
Algeria v. Nigeria – 3 p.m. ET

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