AFCON 2017: SFG writers’ verdict


Looking back at your predictions – and with the benefit of hindsight – do you have any regrets?

Lotfi Wada: Franck Kessie’s tournament is surely my biggest regret.

Salim Said: I got it spectacularly wrong on Gabon. Their tournament was a disaster on almost every level. Also got it wrong on Ivory Coast, but I didn’t tip them to win it with emphatic confidence!

James Bennett: Pretty much everything, other than calling Ivory Coast right.

Theo Sakyi: Betting Cameroon would disappoint- it was completely logical at the time!

Sam Crocker: My Gabon prediction was obviously an absolute disaster. A really very disappointing showing from the hosts; clearly underestimated what an impact a managerial switch up would have pre-tournament. To be the first hosts to go out at the group stage since 1994 is pretty embarrassing, especially with a decent squad at their disposal.


Best player

LW: Ali Gabr

SS: Christian Bassogog. He didn’t have a single quiet game; the tournament’s most consistent attacking player.

JB: Michael Ngadeu

TS: Mbark Boussoufa. It was close between him and Charles Kabore. They both make the game look so easy.

SC: Charles Kabore (typically imperious in way he set up Burkina Faso’s offensive play with such style and grace)


Discovery of the tournament

LW: Denis Bouanga.I watched him in Ligue 2 but didn’t think that he’d be this good.

SS: Christian Bassogog

JB: Michael Ngadeu…or Christian Bassogog if you didn’t want the same answer to the previous question.

TS: Herve Koffi

SC: Herve Koffi (tournament of emerging goalkeepers, incrediblely calm and together for such a young man, one for the future)


Highlight

LW: The tactical level of some teams.

SS: A good tournament. Lots of drama and unpredictability is ultimately what makes a good tournament. And it ended with a memorable final.

JB: Bance’s free kick. Rice everywhere.

TS: Vincent Aboubakar’s tournament winning goal.

SC: Aristide Bance coming into great applause, helping teammate win a free kick with a back heel, and driving in consequent free kick in an incredibly low budget and agricultural way. Just glorious.


Lowlight

LW: The swamps and potato fields which hosted the games.

SS: Gabon – they had the path, they had the players but they were thoroughly underwhelming. This was a major chance. It was also disappointing to see Algeria and Ivory Coast go out early.

JB: Watching Uganda struggling so badly to create anything against Egypt, and then concede in the 89th minute

TS: The hosts, Gabon, doing and playing awfully.

SC: Didn’t enjoy Morocco vs Egypt very much, though did take pleasure in two managers with such little offensive ambition going at it.


Team of the tournament

LW: Koffi, Fai, Hegazy, Bakary Kone, Oyongo, Ben Amor, Kabore, Boussoufa, Salah, Kabananga, Moukandjo.

SS: Koffi, Fathi, Mbodji, Gabr, Yacouba Coulibaly, Kabore, Siani, Boussoufa, Salah, Bassogog, Kabananga.

JB: Doing this Komphela style!
Goalkeeper: Koffi
3 defenders: Ngadeu, Bakary Kone, Mbodji
2 wing-backs: Steeeeeve Yago, Mendyl
2 midfielders: Siani, Abdou Razack Traore
2 forwards: Bassogog, Kabananga
1 striker: Bance

TS: Koffi; Dirar, Hegazy, Mbodj, Oyongo, Kabore, Amor, Boussoufa, Salah, Mane, Bassogog.

SC: Koffi, El-Mohammedy, Ali Gabr, Hegazy, Coulibaly, Kabore, Siani, Salah, Moukandjo, Bassogog, Nakoulma.


 

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