Posted on January 31st, 2013
We’re now half way through the Africa Cup of Nations and it has gone relatively to plan so far. The big 4, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa are all through to the quarter -finals with only Nigeria unable to top their group. The North African teams have been something of a disappointment with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria all knocked out.
We have to look further down the groups to discover our tournament surprises. Zambia, the cup-holders, are out, but this year’s surprise quarter-finalists are Burkina Faso and Togo. We can see this more clearly when we look at their probabilities of progressing in the competition before and after the group round.
The biggest losers are Nigeria, who face a tough draw with Ivory Coast in the Quarter-Finals and either South Africa or Mali in the Semi-Finals. Ghana is sitting in the other half of the draw with Cape Verde in the Quarter-Finals and either Togo or Burkina Faso in the semi-finals. Togo and Burkina Faso have benefited from the easier draw but the large difference in progression probabilities is partly due to the low probabilities predicted for these teams before with Togo having only a 10% chance of progression from the group stages and Burkina Faso a 44% chance.
Ivory Coast are still the cup favourites, but this is still very much an open field.