IS IT AN AFCON TABOO TO HAVE CLEAN SHEET AT GROUP STAGE?

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

A new and intriguing trend has emerged as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations gets to the final stages.  Not only are the mighty teams crumbling, so also are those with watertight defences.

Going into the Round of 16, four teams, judging from their results at the group stages, easily ranked as the best in term of defences.

They did not concede any goal. They are Egypt in Group A, Algeria in Group C, Morocco in Group D and Cameroon in Group F.

Nigeria was ‘saved’ from that ranking by the rude defeat inflicted by Madagascar. Conceding the error-induced goals have proven profitable!

Egypt with clean sheet conceded just a goal to South Africa and that threw the team out of the competition.

Morocco had the first shock on Friday as they conceded their first goal of the tournament to lower ranked Benin, leading to their eventual elimination.

Cameroon entered the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday, boasting of good defence and goalkeeping having not conceded any goal in the preceding three matches.

Poor Goalkeeper Andre Onana! He had the heavy duty of picking the ball three times from his net.

If Guinea beat Algeria in this Sunday’s match, the cycle of eliminating teams with clean sheets at the group stage would have been completed.