World Cup 2018 Qualifying: Best XI – Round 3 and 4
The outstanding individuals from the two matchdays.
Pound-for-pound Uganda are probably the best team in Africa but, as Egypt found out, they’d be considerably easier to beat without Onyango’s command and reflexes. He cemented his status as the continent’s premier goalkeeper with his performance home and away.
There has been questions about Nigeria’s solidity at the back, but the regal Balogun has impressed. His marches out of defence have been a welcome addition.
The only surviving outfield member of the 2012 AFCON-winning to startboth games for Zambia as they did the double against Algeria. Every time he puts the national team jersey his level goes up a few notches.
A dream for Herve Renard to be able to base his defence around a player of his calibre. Benatia didn’t put a foot wrong as Morocco kept a double clean sheet,
The slight Cyprus-based midfielder didn’t look out of place against a fearsome Senegal midfield. Neat and tidy in possession, his dogged style shone next to captain Charles
Karim El Ahmadi
Mr Consistency and Dependable for Herve Renard. Irresistible in Rabat as Morocco ran riot, more dogged in Bamako against a physical Mali team.
His wing-back repositioning doesn’t seem to have tamed his instincts as a winger. One of the most dangerous and watchable players over the match days.
The 18-year-old has made the transition to senior international football look easy. Tore the Algerian right flank to shreds in the first game; his winner last night was historic.
Cape Verde are not a team known for their individual quality, but Garry Rodrigues’ two thunderbolts were of the highest order. If Cape Verde make it to the World Cup they will look at the win away in South Africa as a defining result and Rodrigues will be the man to think.
Missed a penalty in the second fixture, and didn’t shine in general, but he had arguably the most outstanding individual performance of Matchday 3. Renard, as stubborn as he is, knows he made a mistake by not taking him to AFCON.
Perfect lone-striker performance as Gabon surprised Ivory Coast in Bouake. He scored a goal and occupied centre backs Wilfred Kanon and Bailly with his strength and hard running. He won plenty of fouls to squeeze seconds from the clock.
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