Morocco is well engaged in the competition and can count on PSG player Achraf Hakimi. Credits : Icon Sport
After a last day of group stages full of twists and turns, and before starting a final phase with direct elimination that promises to be just as exciting, it is already possible to draw some conclusions from the performances offered by the Arab countries that participated in this 2022 edition of the African Cup of Nations.
Algeria, the big disappointment
Eliminated after another big defeat against Côte d’Ivoire (3-1), the Fennecs, despite being the reigning African champions, have never managed to show the quality of their squad and find the polished game that had allowed them to make what has been described as a “crazy series” of victories, namely these 35 games that they have chained together without conceding a single defeat.
After a dull start to the competition (0-0 draw against Sierra Leone), the Algerians were unable to raise their game and lost to Equatorial Guinea with a rather insipid score of 1-0. The favorite thus takes the door, and will have to review its plans if it wants to impose itself during the next edition.
Morocco, the good transcript
Contrary to the Algerian neighbor, Morocco signs a rather solid performance. A victory against a resilient Ghana allowed him to settle comfortably in the competition and the confirmation during the second game, against the brave little chicken Comorian (2-0) offered him the peace to approach serenely the last game against Gabon, which ended in a spectacular draw (2-2), on a magnificent goal of the Parisian Achraf Hakimi, on free kick.
Comoros, the surprise
For its first participation in the CAN, this small country located on an archipelago in the east of the continent, has not demerit. Indeed, despite two defeats in the first games (1-0 against Gabon and 2-0 against Morocco), the Comoros managed to win against Ghana after a crazy match (3-2), in which Ghana was early red carded, letting the Comoros enjoy a prolonged numerical superiority. And by the magic of sport, despite this one and only victory obtained on the wire, the Comoros find themselves in the round of 16, for a match in which they will face the very experienced Cameroon.
Egypt, still water runs deep
More discreet than its North African neighbors in recent years, Egypt remains the record holder for the number of participations (22) and the number of victories (7). With two wins in three games, it has also qualified for the round of 16 and could well go all the way, but it will have a lot to do in its next game in which it must overcome the Ivory Coast which has shown particularly strong against Algeria. To do this, it will of course rely on its star striker, Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah.
Note that Tunisia is also still in the running. Will one of these countries be able to go for the title of African champion 2022?