BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Three of the four matches played so far have recorded shocks and upset. Three time champions, Nigeria were unable to beat Equatorial Guinea. Record winners, Egypt escaped by the lottery of penalty kick to Mozambique.
If those were shocks, a real upset unfolded in the last match of Sunday as four-time champions lost to Cape Verde.
Only hosts, Cote d’Ivoire among the giants so far, have been able to evade shocks. Defending champions, Senegal begin their title defense this Monday, taking on neighbours, The Gambia.
The Group C has famously been tagged the Group of Death habouring Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea and The Gambia.
Will the upset continue this afternoon with the Senegal versus The Gambia fixture? In the past six editions, no defending champion has progressed further than the round of 16. This places a burden on Senegal.
But on a positive note, Senegal have won their opening game in each of the last four editions.
In The Gambia, Senegal meet one of the underdogs of the competition who are only making their second appearance of the competition. However, this is the same nation that reached the quarter-finals in their inaugural participation in 2021.
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