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Africa Cup of Nations

Too Good, Too Bad: Afcon 2021 semi-finals

11:10 AM GMT+4 04/02/2022
Sadio Mane Senegal 2022
GOAL picks out some eye-catching and unimpressive showings from the last-four clashes in Cameroon

  • Cameroon Egypt AFCON 2021

    Afcon 2021 semi-finals

    Senegal and Egypt defeated Burkina Faso and Cameroon, respectively, to set up what is a highly anticipated final between the West Africans and seven-time winners.

    Which performances in the last four were impressive and whose displays were a disappointment?

  • Mohamed Abou Gabal Gabaski, Egypt, January 2022

    Too Good: Gabaski

    Since replacing Mohamed El-Shenawy in the 88th minute of the Round of 16 success over the Ivory Coast, Egypt’s replacement goalkeeper has now saved three penalties in those two games.

    He stopped one in the victory over the Elephants and repeated the trick against the hosts on Thursday night and then some.

    Gabaski thwarted Harold Moukoudi and James Lea Siliki to put the Pharaohs into a healthy advantage in the shootout, thus becoming the hero for the North African side.

    If El-Shenawy is unable to feature on Sunday, Carlos Queiroz will trust in Gabaski who is yet to concede from open play since deputising for Egypt’s number one.

  • Vincent Aboubakar, Hamdy Fathi, Cameroon vs Egypt, February 2022

    Too Bad: Vincent Aboubakar

    For a second game running, the Indomitable Lions forward fired blanks, failing to convert one of the host nation’s best chances.

    While Aboubakar did not quite miss as many opportunities against the Pharaohs as the quarter-finals, the striker’s off-kilter finishing proved costly this time.

    Having flourished hitherto, the competition’s top scorer petered out when he needed to come up trumps.

  • Saliou Ciss of Senegal.

    Too Good: Saliou Ciss

    Ciss was a constant menace bombing forward for the entirety of Senegal’s 3-1 success over a plucky Burkina Faso outfit, fashioning more opportunities than all but Sadio Mane.

    The left-back was equally dominant in his one-v-one tussles against the Stallions, winning every aerial duel on the night.

    The 32-year-old has featured in every game so far at the finals and Aliou Cisse will count on the full-back for the decider.

  • Sulayman Marreh of Gambia and Andre Zambo Anguissa of Cameroon.

    Too Bad: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

    It was arguably Zambo Anguissa’s worst showing of the finals against Egypt on Thursday, where he struggled to impose himself in midfield.

    The Napoli man was second-best in the majority of his duels, winning three of 11 ground tussles while he lost every aerial battle.

    Only three players lost possession more times than him, whose most underwhelming showing at the finals was undoubtedly ill-timed.

  • sadio-mane-202202030900

    Too Good: Sadio Mane

    Another impressive showing by the Lions of Teranga talisman whose performances in the knockout rounds have been tremendous.

    Against Burkina Faso, the Liverpool superstar was alive to press the Stallions defence to regain possession and set up Senegal’s second and then netted an impressive winner to seal the game when the underdogs pressed for an equaliser.

    Only Aboubakar (seven) has more goal contributions than Mane (five goals plus assists) who will back himself to match the Cameroon talisman in the final.