AFCON Goal method betting guide: Why South Africa can count on set pieces

We have created an AFCON Goal method betting guide ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-finals kicking off on Wednesday, ahead of the final on Sunday. Nigeria v South Africa is the opening fixture, followed by Ivory Coast v DR Congo, in what promises to be a thrilling race to become AFCON champion.

There have been a mammoth 113 goals scored in 48 games so far in the tournament, at an average of 2.35 per match. They have been scored in a number of different ways, as we analyse which goal methods should be monitored ahead of each semi-final from a betting point of view:

AFCON Goal method betting guide: Why South Africa can count on set pieces

Arthur Masuaku was crowded by his teammates after scoring a stunning free-kick to ensure DR Congo victory against Guinea in the quarter-finals – Photo by Icon Sport

Score from outside the box

In terms of the teams left in the tournament, only two have scored from outside the box in South Africa and DR Congo. Both were free-kicks, as Teboho Mokoena netted a stunning free-kick to seal a famous 2-0 victory for South Africa over pre-tournament favourites Morocco in the round of 16, while Arthur Masuaku scored a free-kick from an extremely acute angle to make sure of a 3-1 win for DR Congo against Guinea in the quarter-finals.

Franck Kessie scored a penalty to force extra-time for Ivory Coast against Senegal in the round of 16, before netting the decisive spot-kick in the shootout. Mohamed Aly/Sports Inc – Photo by Icon Sport

Score from any set-piece

All four nations have made set-pieces count in the tournament so far, with them each scoring a penalty in normal time. South Africa and DR Congo have also scored from free-kicks as mentioned above, while the latter scored eight spot-kicks in an 8-7 penalty shootout victory against Egypt in the round of 16 after a 1-1 draw in normal time, and boast the best AFCON penalty shootout record of all four teams left in the tournament.

For Nigeria, William Troost-Ekong scored a decisive penalty in their 1-0 win over Ivory Coast in the group stage, while for South Africa, Percy Tau scored in their 4-0 win over Namibia in the group stage, but also missed in Bafana Bafana's 2-0 defeat to Mali.

As for hosts Ivory Coast, Franck Kessie was the hero from the spot in their victory over holders Senegal in the round of 16 – first scoring a spot-kick to force extra-time before netting the decisive penalty in the shootout. DR Congo's Yoane Wissa scored from the spot in their 3-1 victory over Guinea in the quarter-finals, and so has shown he can be relied on from 12 yards.

Ronwen Williams was the hero for South Africa in the quarter finals - Photo by Icon Sport
South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was a hero as he saved four spot-kicks in their penalty shootout win over Cape Verde in the quarter-finals – Photo by Icon Sport

Score a penalty

As mentioned above, all four nations have scored from the penalty spot in normal time in the tournament so far. South Africa, Ivory Coast and DR Congo have also won penalty shootouts at AFCON 2023.

Victor Osimhen scored a header in Nigeria's opening group game against Equatorial Guinea – Photo by Icon Sport

Score from a header

Only two of the teams left in the semi-finals have scored from a header in the tournament so far: Nigeria and DR Congo. Victor Osimhen headed in Nigeria's only goal in their opening 1-1 group stage draw against Equatorial Guinea, while Meschack Elia headed home for DR Congo to force extra-time and penalties against Egypt in the round of 16, after a 1-1 stalemate in normal time.


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Adam Clancy

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.