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Ivory Coast reach quarters

The Africa Cup of Nations has reached half way stage of the group stages with the drawn match between Mali and Nigeria being the sixteenth match and there are sixteen more group matches to go.

At this stage it looks like Nigeria are on their way out and their stay in the tournament now depends on Ivory Coast beating Mali.

Nigeria will still need to beat Benin and get a better goal difference than Mali.

Ivory Coast on the other hand are the first team through to the quarter-finals after Nigeria's draw and they will need a draw to win the group and potentially avoid the hosts Ghana who look certain to top Group A.

Its interesting to see that Nigeria with arguably the best strike force at the tournament have so far failed to find the back of the net. Nigeria has the likes of Obafemi Martins, Nwanko Kanu, Stephen Makinwa, Yakubu and John Utaka in their ranks and yet surprisingly they have recorded zero goals so far.

In Group A Ghana seem to be doing enough to win games and like Ivory Coast they will also need a draw against Morocco to win their group. I think Ghana were fortunate to get away with a win against Guinea but they played very well against Namibia and could have scored more goals had their strikers been sharper.

Cameroon have a mountain to climb after losing to Egypt in their opening match. Zambia's win against Sudan has shown that they are not going to be pushovers and they are capable of beating the Indomitable Lions.

Every team in Group D has scored one goal in the two draws we have witnessed in that group and I think it is Tunisia and South Africa who should be happy about those draws as they did not play very well and therefore both will need to up their play in the remaining two matches.

So the picture is a bit clearer in Groups A and B after the two matches played and I am looking forward to see what happens in Groups C and D over the coming two days.

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