Picking an Afcon Team of the Tournament so far

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Reuters
Who makes Goal’s Dream Team of the Afcon group stage?

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    Mohamed El-Shenawy

    Egypt haven’t conceded a goal in the tournament so far, but they haven’t been completely solid at the back, and all three of their opponents will feel they should have found the net against the Pharaohs.

    All of Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda will rue both their poor finishing, but also the form of El-Shenaway, who’s made a series of key stops during the campaign so far.

  2. Ahmed Elmohamady

    Just squeezes into our team at right-back ahead of Algeria’s Youcef Atal, Elmohamady continues to be a tireless presence down Egypt’s flank, doing the work of two men to defend astutely and help to create space for the attack.

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    Kenneth Omeruo

    Has returned to form for the Super Eagles in some style, retaking his place in the heart of the backline, and netting the winner in Nigeria’s second match against Guinea.

    A veteran of the 2013 title-winning side, Omeruo’s composure is a key asset for the national side’s backline.

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    Romain Saiss

    The centre-back has set the tone for Morocco with a series of rugged, aggressive displays alongside Medhi Benatia or Manuel Da Costa.

    He’s commanding in the air, and also reads the game intelligently, making him one of Herve Renard’s more underrated talents.

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    Abdul Rahman Baba

    The left-back has been one of the feel-good stories of the tournament so far, returning to international action after 893 days following two years of injury misery and fitness woe.

    He’s not quite the player he once was, but after a strong defensive display against Cameroon, Baba contributed both assists in the victory over Guinea-Bissau.

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    Diadie Samassekou

    One of Africa's emerging stars, Samassekou impressed in his two appearances to date, scoring once and contributing an assist as well as weighing in with an impressive defensive display in the heart of Mali’s midfield.

    No player has averaged more interceptions per game so far this tournament, while Samassekou is also one of the competition’s most effective tacklers, averaging 3.5 per match.

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    Serey Die

    Has often been the glue that’s held this unconvincing Ivorian side together, belying his advancing years with a series of inspiring showings and outclassing celebrated teammates such as Franck Kessie and Jean Michael Seri.

    He was phenomenal in the victory over Namibia, dominating the midfield battle, scoring a scorcher, and demonstrating an underrated creative side to his game.

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    Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan

    While Mohamed Salah has stolen the plaudits—and the attention—Trezeguet has proven himself to be Egypt’s ace in the hole.

    He scored the winner in the opener against Zimbabwe, and will be a key player for the hosts as they look to negotiate the challenges to come.

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    Adama Traore

    One of several players in this team who finally appear to be demonstrating the kind of quality that we’ve long been expecting from them.

    The AS Monaco man has created—on average—3.3 goalscoring chances for his teammates per match (the best in the competition), and also netted in the 4-1 victory over Mauritania in Mali’s opener.

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    Youcef Belaili

    Despite Algeria’s plethora of stars, it’s Belaili—playing for Esperance—who’s standing out.

    The wideman has bounced back from a two-year ban due to cocaine usage to become a key element of the national side, and struck the winner to settle a tight contest with Senegal.

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    Jordan Ayew

    Much maligned, but Jordan has proven in the past that he can deliver in the big games.

    So far he has scored half of Ghana’s goals—netting against Benin and Guinea-Bissau—on both occasions breaking the deadlock with a fine finish.

    On this form, the younger Ayew can help the Black Stars dream of the title.