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World Cup 2022: African Golden Boot Power Rankings

1:30 AM EST 11/25/22
Ismaila Sarr, Andre Ayew, Choupo-Moting
GOAL rank the continent’s hopefuls of ending top scorer at the global showpiece

Ghana ended what was an almost embarrassing opening round of games for the African nations at the 2022 World Cup in which none of the first four representatives scored.

Andre Ayew levelled for the Black Stars to open the continent’s account but it was not to be as Portugal secured a 3-2 win over the West African nation.

In this feature, GOAL rank the prospects of the Ghana icon and other African strikers ending top scorer after seeing how each fared in the opening round of games.

  • Sofiane Boufal of Morocco.

    #10 Sofiane Boufal

    With Hakim Ziyech likely to be handed a playmaking brief, Morocco will need Boufal at his best in the box to unlock defences, especially if Youssef En-Nesyri’s issues in front of goal continue.

    The wide attacker’s torrid afternoon against Croatia, though, does not bode well.

  • Inaki Williams Ghana 2022

    #9 Inaki Williams

    For all his industry without the ball, Williams is not a natural goalscorer, evidenced by scoring double figures once in his Athletic Club career and that is unlikely to change at the World Cup.

    The Ghana man could have opened his Black Stars account on Thursday but slipped after his moment of ingenuity saw him almost outsmart Portugal goalkeeper Diego Costa.

  •  En-Nesyri Morocco

    #8 Youssef En-Nesyri

    En-Nesyri missed his opportunity to score against Croatia on Wednesday, somehow failing to connect to Hakim Ziyech’s inviting cross.

    The Morocco striker feeds on those, so his inability to convert could be attributed to a lack of goalscoring confidence heading to the finals — the Sevilla man netted just two goals in all competitions for the Spanish side before the finals.

  • Karl Toko Ekambi Cameroon.

    #7 Karl Toko Ekambi

    The Olympique Lyon attacker executed one of Cameroon’s best chances against Switzerland poorly but the Indomitable Lions will hope he finds his scoring boots sooner rather than later.

    Toko Ekambi packs a punch on his day, but a drought stretching to early September seems to be having an undesired effect.

  • Boulaye Dia and Virgil van Dijk.

    #6 Boulaye Dia

    Dia buzzed around in Senegal’s 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands but could not open his nation’s account at the finals.

    With six goals in 10 Serie A starts for Salernitana, the centre-forward will hope to get chances to come up trumps with Sadio Mane absent.

  • FW_Issam Jebali

    #5 Issam Jebali

    Despite Msakni’s strong involvement in the final third, Jebali got Tunisia’s best chances in the 0-0 draw with Denmark.

    The striker had the ball in the net but was flagged offside and was denied a goal before half-time with Kasper Schmeichel’s top save.

  • FW_Youssef Msakni

    #4 Youssef Msakni

    Arguably Tunisia’s best player against Denmark, Msakni carried enough threat in the first half to suggest the Eagles of Carthage’s hope hinges on his final-third exploits.

    Whether the attacker retains that form over the rest of the group stage remains to be seen.

  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

    #3 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

    While Choupo-Moting went into the World Cup as one of Africa’s in-form strikers, it remains to be seen how much he shares minutes with Vincent Aboubakar in Qatar.

    The Bayern Munich frontman had a good outing in Thursday’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Switzerland but was surprisingly replaced by Rigobert Song.

    Any form of rotation with Aboubakar potentially undermines any strong Golden Boot claim.

  •  Senegal winger Ismaila Sarr and Matthijs de Ligt.

    #2 Ismaila Sarr

    Senegal’s best player in defeat, Sarr stepped up in Mane’s absence and might have scored one of his three shots on another day.

    The wide attacker is arguably the Lions of Teranga’s best hope of securing adequate results to progress.

  • Andre Ayew and Mohammed Kudus of Ghana

    #1 Andre Ayew

    Ayew netted Ghana’s first in their 3-2 defeat against Portugal and could be the Black Stars’ best Golden Boot prospect.

    Any success will depend on Mohammed Kudus showing his quality to cause panic in the opposition when he gets into promising positions.

    Unsurprisingly, the Al Sadd man sits atop our rankings.