Africa Nations Championship 2014: CHAN Quarter-Final Fixtures and Predictions

Jason PettigroveContributor IJanuary 25, 2014

Nigeria are the strongest side left in the tournament.
Nigeria are the strongest side left in the tournament.Gallo Images/Getty Images

The African Nations Championship (CHAN) reaches the quarter-final stage this weekend, with some heavyweights still left in the competition.

Favourites Nigeria and Ghana will face each other in the semi-finals if they can overcome Morocco and DR Congo respectively.

Zimbabwe come into their match against Mali bouyed by huge ex-pat support but have little chance of progression having scored a solitary goal in the tournament, whilst Gabon and Libya make up the last eight. 

Let's take a brief look at each matchup and see on which channels you will be able to view them...

CHAN Quarter Final Predictions and TV Viewing Information
FixtureDateTimeViewing InfoPredictions
Morocco vs. Nigeria25 Jan3:00 p.m. GMT/10:00 a.m. ETITV4 and British Eurosport0-3
Mali vs. Zimbabwe25 Jan6:30 p.m. GMT/1:30 p.m. ETITV4 and British Eurosport2-0
Gabon vs. Libya26 Jan3:00 p.m. GMT/10:00 a.m. ETITV4 and British Eurosport2-1
Ghana vs. DR Congo26 Jan6:30 p.m. GMT/1:30 a.m. ETITV4 and British Eurosport3-0


Morocco vs. Nigeria

Nigeria can continue their excellent form against Morocco.
Nigeria can continue their excellent form against Morocco.Gallo Images/Getty Images

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is hopeful his young side can make a big step towards the final against a misfiring Morocco side.

According to BBC Sport, Keshi said: 

Many of our players haven't played in front of big crowds, in such big stadiums or under lights.

And with our league having stopped a few months ago, they were also lacking sharpness but I've seen an improvement as the tournament has progressed. We have been getting stronger with every game we've played.

Despite being clear underdogs, Morocco's Hassan Benabicha is hoping to exploit a leaky Super Eagles defence, who have let in five goals in the tournament. 

We started the tournament poorly with two draws but we have picked up our momentum at the right time and we are looking forward to the quarter final stage now.

We know what to expect against Nigeria, we must prepare well for our game against them, and why not beat them and reach the semi final.


Mali vs. Zimbabwe

Kudakwashe Mahachi has been Zimbabwe's stand out player. The 20-year-old has been a constant threat, raiding down the right side but his pinpoint crosses have been in vain, with just the single goal scored.

Mali's game is built on physicality with a number of imposing individuals making up a strong side. Despite a relatively young core to the team, the fearlessness and effervescence of youth should seen them progress.


Gabon vs. Libya

Gabon should ease through against Libya.
Gabon should ease through against Libya.Michael Steele/Getty Images

Gabon left it very late in their last game against Mauritania, but their comeback must rank as one of the very best.

With only four minutes left on the clock, competition debutants Mauritania were leading 2-1 and already dreaming of a last-eight berth.

However, their inexperience showed in the most unbelievable way, as they allowed Gabon to strike three times in the last few minutes and progress at their expense.

Ex-Hull City and Glasgow Rangers striker Daniel Cousin will be key to the Gabonese hopes of progression.

Libya were another to leave it late. The Libyans were also heading out of the competition until Abdelrahman Fetori's 30-yard effort in the 90th minute secured a 2-2 draw against Congo, the point good enough to see them progress.

Javier Clemente's side have only won a single game at this year's tournament and even the Tripoli Post (h/t ESPN) remarked: "There was no urgency about their play against Congo, they looked much too confused to threaten."


Ghana vs. DR Congo

The Black Stars remain one of the favourites for the tournament after comfortably finishing top of their group.

Sulley Mohammed, Kennedy Boateng and Paul De-Vries Asare are amongst the players on whose shoulders rest the hopes of a nation.

Their goals have been vital and they will need to bring their "A" game to this match against a Congo side with nothing to lose.

Congo squeezed past Burundi in their last game to progress but are unlikely to trouble a Ghana side superior in all areas.