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Africa Cup of Nations

Too Good, Too Bad: Afcon 2021 first two rounds

12:43 GMT 17/01/2022
Super Eagles, Nigeria
With one round of games to play, GOAL picks out teams that have impressed and underwhelmed at the finals so far

  • Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon celebrates against Burkina Faso

    Too Good: Cameroon

    While they may have understandably struggled at times in their opening game against Burkina Faso, the Indomitable Lions produced a strong showing to claim a 4-1 win over Ethiopia having trailed after four minutes.

    Vincent Aboubakar leads the way with four goals, top scorer at the finals, while the supporting cast is led by Karl Toko Ekambi who netted a brace in their second fixture.

    The tournament’s top scorers are primed to flourish in the knockout stages.

  • Riyad Mahrez Algeria vs Equatorial Guinea Africa Cup of Nations 2021

    Too Bad: Algeria

    A mixed showing for the defending champions' opening game against Sierra Leone will have been forgotten had the Fennec Foxes defeated Equatorial Guinea on Sunday night.

    However, a shock 1-0 defeat leaves Riyad Mahrez and his teammates facing an early exit.

    Djamel Belmadi’s troops are without a goal at the finals and the loss against the Central Africans ended their 35-game unbeaten run.

  • Equatorial Guinea's Esteban Orozco vs Algeria, Afcon 2021

    Too Good: Equatorial Guinea

    Aside from ending Algeria’s long-standing run without losing, the National Thunder were impressive against Ivory Coast and deserved something from that clash on the balance of quality chances created.

    Limiting Belmadi’s team to little is no mean feat but Juan Micha’s team held their own against the North African giants.

    While a place in the knockout stages remains uncertain, the Central Africans have done well to put themselves in a promising position heading into this week’s final fixture against Sierra Leone.

  • Andre Ayew Jordan Ayew Ghana

    Too Bad: Ghana

    It is safe to say the Black Stars are so far one of the tournament’s biggest disappointments.

    The absence of creativity and failure to make inroads into their opponents’ territory has left them winless after two rounds.

    A win over Comoros will take them into the knockout stages but that remains to be seen on the evidence of their performances hitherto.

  • Super Eagles, Nigeria

    Too Good: Nigeria

    Nobody expected much from the Super Eagles owing to their chaotic preparation, but two wins from two means they are the only side apart from Cameroon and Morocco with a 100 percent record.

    The Super Eagles’ performances have doubly increased the excitement surrounding Augustine Eguavoen’s troops and they seem primed to be a possible contender for another African title if their level does not drop in the elimination rounds.

    Moses Simon has been a menace down the left flank and the Nantes man will undoubtedly be in contention to be named player of the tournament if the Super Eagles go far in the competition and he maintains his current level.

  • Mohamed Salah in Egypt vs Nigeria Afcon 2022

    Too Bad: Egypt

    While their 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau means they are unlikely to be eliminated at the group stage, Egypt’s performances leave much to be desired.

    Mohamed Salah got the winner against the West Africans, and the Pharaohs did hit the woodwork multiple times, yet the North African giants could easily have been pegged back late on had Mama Balde’s goal stood.

    Their showing in the defeat by Nigeria was equally unsatisfactory, leaving observers unsure about the seven-time champions despite Salah’s presence in the team.