U-23 Africa Cup of Nations: Top five players of the tournament

Evans Mensah U23.jpeg Mensah was Ghana's best performer at the AFCON

Mon, 25 Nov 2019 Source: goal.com

Mostafa Mohamed

We begin with Mohamed, who ends the campaign as top scorer after netting four en route to the title.

The SC Zamalek hitman has taken his time to establish himself at the Cairene giants, but as he demonstrated on home soil, he boasts physicality, intelligence and—most importantly—a goalscoring touch.

Mohamed excelled during the group stage, with the winner against Mali, a double against Cameroon and the equaliser against Ghana, and he can use this tournament as a launchpad to future successes.

The six footer has already represented Egypt’s senior side, having made his debut in March, and expect him to build on his pair of international caps to date.

Evans Mensah

The only West African player to make our top five, Ghana’s Mensah excelled for the Black Meteors and didn’t deserve to be on the losing team when they were defeated by South Africa in the Olympic playoff.

The 21-year-old winger boosted his reputation significantly in Egypt, with a series of performances that caused consistent problems for opposition backlines and also had an end product, including, memorably the 92nd-minute equaliser against the Ivory Coast in the semis.

Mensah needs to escape HJK of Finland in search of a more challenging league, but if he can build on his showings to date, then expect Kwesi Appiah to be picking up the phone.

Ramadan Sobhy

The highest profile player in the tournament heading into the competition, Sobhy certainly lived up to his billing, in a campaign which could prove to be the start of a renaissance for the wideman.

Having flopped in England with Stoke City and Huddersfield Town, Sobhy returned to Egypt to rediscover his top form, and on the evidence of the U-23 Afcon, he’s getting back to his best.

As well as mesmerising defences with his dribbling, he equalised against Ghana, opened the scoring against South Africa, and then bagged the winner in the final against the Ivory Coast—a star is (re)born!

Tercious Malepe

Ahead of the tournament, it appeared as though Chippa United’s Malepe would miss out, with his club side refusing to release him after insisting that he was required for domestic duties.

However, the South Africa U-23 was finally released after picking up a red card, ruling him out United matches and therefore allowing him to join up with David Notoane’s side.

The defender was influential as SA qualified for the Olympics, defeating Ghana on penalties in the third-placed playoff. He delivered a series of solid, commanding displays, and appears destined to make his mark at parent club Orlando Pirates before too long.

Source: goal.com
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