Connect with us

AFCON

Osimhen Misses Out In AFCON Best XI As Ekong, Lookman And Aina Make The List –

Published

on

Osimhen Misses Out In AFCON Best XI As Ekong, Lookman And Aina Make The List -

The anticipated starman of the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations, Victor Osimhen is not listed as the CAF Technical Study Group unveils the tournament’s best eleven.

Three of his teammates however make the list. They are Ola Aina, William Troost-Ekong and Ademola Lookman.

Ekong emerged the most valuable player of the tournament – the first time ever that a defender will win tha accolade. He also became the first player to score against Cote d’Ivoire in an Afcon final match. The previous final matches that Cote d’Ivoire played ended goalless.

The new African champions, Cote d’Ivoire also have three players on the list. They are:  Ghislan Konan, Jean Michael Seri and Franck Kessie. Kessie’s goal in the final helped the home side to secure the title. He is the first Ivorian player to score in an Afcon final match as their previous matches had ended goalless.

But Sebastian Haller who scored the winning goal as well as the one that took Cote d’Ivoire to the final did not make the list.

Advertisement

South Africa, who entered the competition as underdogs but marched gallantly to a third-place finish have keeper, Ronwen Williams and Teboho Mokoena. Williams made history when he saved four penalties in one match during the competition.

DR Congo, fourth-place, also had two names: Yoane Wissa and Chancel Mbemba.

The Best Xl: 

With Williams in goals, Nigeria’s Aina and Troost-Ekong showcased their defensive prowess, earning spots in the backline alongside Cote d’Ivoire’s Konan and DR Congo’s Chancel Mbemba.

In midfield, a diverse array of talent emerges, with South Africa’s Mokoena providing defensive stability alongside Cote d’Ivoire’s Jean Michael Seri and Kessie.

Advertisement

Upfront, the striking duo of Yoane Wissa from DR Congo and Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman bring flair and potency to the forward line, complemented by Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue, whose attacking threat kept defenders on their toes.

Nsue stands out as the competition’s top scorer with five goals, despite his team not reaching the semi-finals.

 

Goalkeeper: Ronwen Williams (South Africa)

Defenders: Ola Aina (Nigeria), Ghislan Konan (Cote d’Ivoire), William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria), Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo).

Advertisement

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (South Africa), Jean Michael Seri (Cote d’Ivoire), Franck Kessie

 Strikers:  Yoane Wissa (DR Congo)Ademola Lookman (Nigeria),  Emilio Nsue (Equatorial Guinea)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

AFCON

Liberia, Eswatini hold upper hand in AFCON 2025 preliminary qualifiers –

Published

on

Liberia, Eswatini Hold Upper Hand In AFCON 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers -

After commanding victories in the first leg matches of the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, qualifiers, Chad, Liberia, and Eswatini find themselves in advantageous positions as they gear up for the return fixtures scheduled for Tuesday.

As the second leg of the preliminary fixtures approach, all eyes will be on these teams as they vie for their coveted spots in the group phase of the qualifiers, with the hopes of making their mark on the continental stage.

Chad emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win over Mauritius, joining Liberia and Eswatini in the lead after their impressive triumphs earlier last week.

Liberia secured a 2-0 victory against Djibouti, while Eswatini displayed their dominance with a 3-0 win over Somalia.

The second leg promises to be fiercely contested, particularly for Chad, who will face a challenging encounter against Mauritius on the latter’s home turf.

Advertisement

Coach Kevin Nicaise’s players are keen to defend their slender lead and secure their spot in the next phase of the qualifiers but the trainer admits they have an arduous task.

“We are far from perfect, far from being a top team in the world. We are in the construction phase. There are still things to work on and improve,” coach Nicaise said after their first-leg win.

“It is not overnight that we will be a top team in the world, we are aware of that, however we are working hard with the group and the staff to achieve this goal.”

Meanwhile, Liberia will host Djibouti, aiming to build on their first-leg success and seal their progression to the next round.

Eswatini will host Somalia with confidence, seeking to maintain their winning momentum and secure passage to the next stage of the tournament.

Advertisement

South Sudan and Sao Tome and Principe will also face off in what is expected to be a closely contested encounter, following their goalless draw in the first leg.

With both teams eager for victory, the match promises to be a thrilling battle for supremacy.

-CAF

Continue Reading

AFCON

Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Published

on

Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Liberia and Eswatini took commanding leads in their respective Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, preliminary round ties after claiming impressive away victories on Wednesday.

Liberia captain Murphy Dorley scored one of two first-half goals as the Lone Stars defeated hosts Djibouti 2-0 in the opening leg in  Marrakech.

Mohammed Sangare broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on 23 minutes before Dorley coolly slotted home Sebastian Teclar’s cross 12 minutes later.

Djibouti struggled to lay a glove on their more illustrious opponents as the Lone Star side kept them at bay to take two away goals into next week’s second leg in Monrovia.

Eswatini were also celebrating after demolishing Somalia 3-0 in the Moroccoan  city of El Jadida to put one foot in the group stage qualifiers.

Advertisement

Striker Sabelo Ndzinisa was the hero, netting twice either side of Felicio Figuareido’s 40th minute opener for the visitors.

Somalia now face an uphill battle to qualify when they travel to the Mbombela Stadium in the South African city of Nelspruit for the return on March 26th.

The opening leg victories give Liberia and Eswatini a huge advantage heading into the second legs as they target a place in the group stage on the road to next year’s finals in Morocco.

Back from the locker room, Somalia still couldn’t play its game.

Worse, Eswatini widened the gap with Ginindza who scored his double of the evening in the 56th minute. 3-0, the score remained unchanged on the scoreboard until the final whistle.

Advertisement

Victory for Eswatini which will still have to perform in the return leg to ensure its qualification for the qualifiers.

 

Continue Reading

AFCON

Road to Morocco 2025 begins today

Published

on

Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Following last month’s grand closing to the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations held in Cote d’Ivoire where the hosts were crowned champions for the third time, Africa’s biggest competition is now shifting its focus to the 35th edition set to be held in Morocco next year.

A total of 52 Nations will be engaged to compete for a place in the 24-nation competition.

To mark the start of the qualifiers following the draw that was held in Cairo on 20 February 2024, eight lowest ranked nations will compete in the Preliminary Qualifiers starting on Wednesday, 20 March over a two-legged format that will decide the four nations that will join the other 44 African nations to make up the group stages of the qualifiers.

The CAF AFCON Morocco 2025 journey officially gets underway on Wednesday, 20 March with two fixtures as Somalia plays host to Eswatini, while Djibouti faces Liberia.

Two days later, Chad locks horns with Mauritius before Sao Tome and Principe takes on South Sudan.

Advertisement

The return legs will conclude on Tuesday, 26 March with all matches set to take place on the day to officially decide the preliminary phase of the competition.

 

 AFCON Morocco 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers:

First Leg Fixtures:

Wednesday, 20 March 

Advertisement
  • 18:00 GMT | Somalia – Eswatini
  • 22:00 GMT | Djibouti – Liberia

 

Friday, 22 March

  • 18:00 GMT | Chad – Mauritius
  • 19:00 GMT | Sao Tome and Principe – South Sudan

 

Return Leg Fixtures:

Tuesday, 26 March

  • 13:00 GMT | Eswatini – Somalia
  • 16:00 GMT | Liberia – Djibouti
  • 17:00 GMT | South Sudan – Sao Tome and Principe
  • 15:00 GMT | Mauritius – Chad
Continue Reading

Most Viewed