WCQ Africa: Best XI

The outstanding individuals from this weekend’s African World Cup qualifiers.

Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon)

His MOTM performance symbolises Algeria’s dominance in chances but a goalkeeper’s job is to keep goals out. The 20 year old was in characteristically commanding and defiant form in a game that turned out to be a one-on-one duel with Riyad Mahrez.

Issama Mpeko (DR Congo)

DR Congo’s undisputed right back for the last 3 years, and on this evidence it was easy to see why. His run and assist for Dieumerci Mbokani’s second goal was a highlight.

Manuel da Costa (Morocco)

The captain led by example to thwart the explosive Gabon duo of Aubameyang and Malick Evouna. He showed the type of resiliency which is the hallmark of a Herve Renard defender.

Marcel Tisserand (DR Congo)

The Ingolstadt’s centre back’s comfortability with the ball at his feet stood out. In the first half, cornered in his own penalty area with no passing options, Tisserand held off a Libyan attacker and turned him to much applause from the Stade des Martyrs faithful.

Ali Maaloul (Tunisia)

One of the first names on the Tunisia team sheet, the left-back was a key feature of Tunisia’s attacks. Though his importance is usually underlined by statistics, on this occasion he did not have much currency to show for his efforts.

Jacques Maghoma (DR Congo)

The Birmingham City midfielder was a sea of calm and authority in the maelstrom of midfield, using the ball well and joining attacks where possible. If he continues to produce similar performances he will make the central midfielder position his own.

Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast)

The midfield dynamo took his red-hot club to the international scene. His decision-making on the ball and determined drives through the centre gave his team some midfield steel, and a very physical Mali side plenty to think about.

Abdallah Said (Egypt)

On another day, he could have scored a hat-trick but he’ll have to do with scoring the winner. His late arrivals into the box made him an elusive figure throughout for the Congo defence and, after Salah, he looked likely to settle the match.

Keita Balde (Senegal)

The outstanding player of the round. The winger eased the pressure to create that is usually on Sadio Mane with an effervescent display, and he was productive too – scoring and assisting with a wonderful back flick for Moussa Sow.

Fwayo Tembo (Zambia)

On the losing side but the Israeli-based winger was arguably MOTM. His power and constant running occupied the Nigerian defence and he can count himself unfortunate to be on the end of a defeat.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

His pace, movement and energy gave the Congo defence a full 90-minute exercise, with no solution to stop him apparent at any point. Without Salah’s goal and assist, Egypt certainly would not have walked away with this huge win.

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