African Nations Cup: Team Of The Third Match Day

With the group matches done and dusted in the 2010 African Nations Cup, picks the 11 players who stood out as the best in their positions in the third round of games.

Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

The Nigeria goalkeeper stood up strong in between the posts against the Mozambicans, who resorted to playing long balls as the Super Eagles kept them at bay. He stopped Dario Monteiro's blinding header to prove that he is back on top of his game. A clean sheet in the match shows the good work put forth by the keeper, and his defence was visibly more confident knowing that they had the in-form stopper at their backs.


Ahmed Al Muhammadi (Egypt)

The defender had a hand in both attack and defence in the final match of the group for the defending champions, with good defending to keep a clean sheet supplemented by a stunning early goal to get the ball rolling for Egypt. The north Africans stretched their unbeaten run at the Nations Cup to 16 matches, and they were barely bothered by a toothless Benin side in Benguela. Defender Al Muhammadi unleashed a long-range cross that caught Yoann Djidonou off guard in the seventh minute to put the Pharaohs in front, as the effort sailed over the keeper and into the top corner of the goal.

Samuel Inkoom (Ghana)

Inkoom is a player who is always creating problems for goalkeepers. He miraculously disappears from his territory and resurfaces at the top end with his brilliant crosses that are usually converted into goals. One of his spot-on crosses led to Ghana's only goal which propelled them to the last eight. The youngster has, over time, proved to be a perfect right-back for his senior side, and will continue to impress with his consistent displays at the back.

Khaled Korbi (Tunisia)

In a game against Cameroon where nothing but a win would suffice, the Esperance defensive midfielder showed up big and provided the fighting spirit which was necessary in this type of encounter. Korbi's reading of the game was top notch in terms of anticipating the opponents' passing moves and knowing when to press and when not to. Though he could have easily been sent off for some dangerous tackles, he was the beating heart of the Carthage Eagles' side. If he can work on channelling his aggression better and cleaning up his passing, it is distinctly possible that we'll see him playing in Europe in the near future.

Chintu Kampamba (Zambia)

The defender was in fine form throughout the match, allowing his side to win against a tough Gabon side, therefore progressing from the group stages to the quarter-finals of the tournament. Zambia took a deserved lead in the 28th minute when Kampamba slid the ball upfield to Kalaba and the Uniao Leiria midfielder kept his cool to knock the ball from the left of the box past the onrushing Gabon keeper Ebang Ovono. An assist and determined defending throughout the encounter earns Kampamba a spot in our line-up.


Seydou Keita (Mali)

Making it onto our team of the week for the second time in three rounds, the Barcelona midfielder proved his worth once again, working hard and scoring a stunning goal from distance to help his team to a 3-1 win over Malawi, although the result was not enough for Keita and company on the day. A fine free kick from distance ensured that the midfield fighter left his mark on the encounter.

Andre Ayew (Ghana)

The 20-year-old's blistering header on the half-hour mark secured Ghana a place in the quarter-finals. It was a good way to register his first goal for the Black Stars as a depleted Ghana side badly needed a win to salvage their image. The left-winger displayed a level of maturity despite his young years and was always at hand to create spaces for goals. He reminded the fans of his sterling performances during the last Under-20 World Cup in Egypt when he rallied his compatriots as team captain to the ultimate victory. It came as no surprise when the CAF Technical Study Group named him the Man of the Match in the game against Burkina Faso.

Alexander Song (Cameroon)

Arsenal may be missing the talented midfielder, but Cameroon will be glad that he is with them right now, as he gave another of his consistent performances at the heart of the midfield against Tunisia. The Indomitable Lion was crucial to his side’s 2-2 draw with the Carthage Eagles, making important tackles and pushing the ball forward towards Webo and Samuel Eto’o.

Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso)

The impressive Pitroipa was on form once again this week, and despite the 1-0 loss to Ghana, his play in midfield stood out as the most entertaining of the encounter. His sublime skills and easy turn of pace allowed him to cause a number of problems for the Black Stars on the day, and despite being cut down to 10 men during the match, the midfielder continually surged forward dangerously, knowing a draw would have been enough for his side. Unfortunately we will not get to see any more of the skillful Pitroipa, but his runs and flashes of dribbling ability will remain in the memory among the finer moments of this competition.


Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria)

The Super Eagles of Nigeria finally came to the party with a convincing 3-0 victory over Mozambique, and a great deal of the plaudits must go to the Russian-born Nigerian international. Odemwingie found the back of the net before and after the interval to dash Mozambique’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time. The striker collected the ball outside the box and netted with a left-foot shot, which found its way between Kampango and his near post. Two minutes after the resumption, Odemwingie struck again, turning in an easy chance after Yakubu Aiyegbeni broke down the left. His ability gave confidence to the other Nigerians on the pitch, and he will be crucial to their progression in the tournament.

Achille Webo (Cameroon)

The Cameroonian was one of the most hardest working men on the pitch against the tough Tunisians, helping his team to earn a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition with fine creative play. Substitute Webo set up two goals as Cameroon drew 2-2 with Tunisia to scrape into the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. Webo, who came on as a second-half replacement for Jean Makoun, provided Samuel Eto'o and Landry Nguemo with perfect back passes as Cameroon twice fought back to finish second in Group D.


Odemwingie  Webo

Mabina  Ayew  Keita  Pitroipa

Al Muhammadi  Inkoom  Korbi  Kampamba

Enyeama SUBS

Obafemi Martins (Nigeria)

Coming in as a substitute in his first game of the tournament, Martins showed why he should be in the Super Eagles' starting line-up by scoring his team's third goal against Mozambique. His pace up front troubled the Mambas' defence, resulting in goalkeeper Kapango committing a foul outside of the 18-yard box. His quick reaction enabled him to score from Mikel Obi's rebound.

Mabina (Angola)

The Angolan midfielder was a constant threat for the hosts in their match against Algeria, and even though the game ended goalless, Mabina went close to changing that on a few occasions. After an open first quarter Angola were looking dangerous on the attack, with Mabina testing Desert Foxes' keeper Faouzi Chaouchi early on, and then working tirelessly to keep the pressure on the north Africans. In the end, both sides progressed, but hard work from Mabina and the other Angolan midfielders had a great deal to do with the successful stalemate which sent the hosts to the top of Group A.

Felix Katongo (Zambia)

He was probably the most spectacular man on the pitch in Zambia’s impressive and unexpected win against Gabon. His silky footwork and perfect combination with Mulenga in the midfield contributed to the Gabonese downfall. He is a player to watch in the competition, as his performances have been consistently good from the first game of the group stage.