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Africa Cup of Nations

Too Good, Too Bad: Afcon 2021 quarter-finals

08:39 GMT 31/01/2022
Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.
With the teams going through to the semi-finals and as many sides exiting the competition, GOAL picks out the best and most underwhelming individual showings in the last eight

  • Senegal

    Afcon 2021

    The quarter-finals concluded on Sunday night, with Senegal ending Equatorial Guinea’s journey in Cameroon.

    With the last eight now over, which players flourished for their sides and who failed to deliver?

  • Karl Toko Ekambi  Cameroon Afcon

    Too Good: Karl Toko Ekambi

    While Vincent Aboubakar had dominated headlines heading into Saturday’s clash with The Gambia, it was Toko Ekambi who flourished to win the game for the Indomitable Lions.

    The Lyon attacker netted two second-half strikes to seal a 2-0 success and take the hosts into a mouth-watering semi-final meeting with seven-time winners Egypt.

    His latest brace at the finals takes him to five goals, outscoring everyone but Aboubakar.

  • CAN 2022 Cameroun Vincent Aboubakar

    Too Bad: Vincent Aboubakar

    The tournament’s top scorer went into Cameroon’s last eight fixture seeking another strike to become the first player in the competition’s history to score in his team’s first five games.

    However, Aboubakar’s finishing was far from perfect on the day, missing a series of opportunities to add to his six goals at Afcon 2021.

    Undoubtedly, Toni Conceicao will hope his frontman returns to form when they face Egypt in the semis.

  • Egypt captain Mohamed Salah (C-R) celebrates scoring the equalizer.

    Too Good: Mohamed Salah

    Despite Morocco being the fancied side owing to their performances hitherto the quarters, Egypt picked up a 2-1 comeback victory over the Atlas Lions.

    Without Salah, it is hard to see how the Pharaohs will have found a way after falling behind after Sofiane Boufal’s sixth-minute penalty.

    The Liverpool superstar equalised eight minutes after half-time and set up substitute Trezeguet in the first half of extra time.

    Salah has now been involved in all but one of Egypt’s four goals in Cameroon and they will look to him to get the better of the Indomitable Lions on Thursday.

  • Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia, Afcon 2021

    Too Bad: Wahbi Khazri

    On his return to Tunisia’s XI, Khazri could not inspire the North Africans in their encounter with Burkina Faso.

    Khazri did not particularly sparkle in the attacking third, missing the Carthage Eagles’ best opportunity to level.

    Furthermore, the attacker came out second-best in several tussles and struggled to beat his marker for most of the night.

  • Sadio Mane Senegal Iban Salvador Edu Equatorial Guinea Afcon 2022

    Too Good: Sadio Mane

    Only hours after his Liverpool teammate has been instrumental to Egypt’s success, Mane was in really good form as Senegal played Equatorial Guinea.

    The Lions of Teranga defeated their opponents 3-1, and it was no surprise the West Africans’ best showing at the finals coincided with Mane’s best showing so far.

    Especially in the opening half, the Lions’ star took up smart positions between the lines and was creative, too, setting up Famara Diedhiou just before the half-hour mark for his first assist of the competition.

    Having struggled for fluency before Sunday night’s game, their all-round showing demonstrated why many observers tipped them for Afcon glory.