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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Flop XI

12:43 AM GMT 22/07/2019
Afcon Flop XI
Goal name and shame the biggest underperformers of the Africa Cup of Nations campaign

  • Goalkeeper Hassen Mouez of Tunisia, 2019 Afcon

    Mouez Hassen

    There were several goalkeepers who could have made our Afcon Flop XI, with Zimbabwe’s Elvis Chipezeze, Patrick Matasi of Kenya and Tunisia’s other two stoppers—Moez Ben Cherifia and Farouk Ben Mustapha.

    However, Hassen gets the nod, having contributed a series of miserable gaffes during a muddled campaign for Tunisia.

    He was at fault for Ghana’s late equaliser in the Round of 16, and later reacted badly after being substituted by Alain Giresse.

    While he saved a penalty in the semi-final against Senegal, he later pushed a Sadio Mane free kick onto the head of his own defender for an own goal, and was a nervy presence after making a horror error—leading to a Mali goal—in Tunisia’s second group game.

  • Abdalla Moustafa, Leon Balogun - Nigeria vs. Egypt

    Leon Balogun

    Was shunted out of the starting XI as Gernot Rohr preferred Kenneth Omeruo, with the latter responding with a series of fine displays including the winner against Guinea.

    Balogun featured against Guinea, but appeared off the pace, and was then exposed in the 2-0 defeat by Madagascar.

    He was only used—as a last-minute substitute to kill time—against Cameroon and South Africa, and appeared to pay the price for a lack of activity at club level this term.

  • Musa Mohammed of Nkana FC and Harambee Stars.

    Musa Mohammed

    The Kenya centre-back had been imperious during the qualifying campaign, but came unstuck during the tournament proper, as the Harambee Stars conceded eight goals in their three group games.

    His positioning and concentration appeared lacking at times, although there was one major caveat, in that injuries had limited Kenya’s options at the back before the competition.

  • John Boye of Ghana, Ellyes Joris Skhiri of Tunisia, 2019 Afcon

    John Boye

    Boye was sent off in Ghana’s opener, the 2-2 draw with Benin in which he struggled to combat the West Africans’ direct and physical style, for time wasting, and therefore missed the clash with Cameroon.

    He returned for the victory over Guinea-Bissau, but was found wanting in the 1-1 draw with Tunisia, struggling to deal with the North Africans’ movements and picking up a booking for his troubles.


  • Dennis Omino Odhiambo of Kenya tackled by Lamine Gassama of Senegal.

    Dennis Odhiambo

    The central midfielder was named in Kenya’s Starting XI ahead of Johanna Omollo for the Harambee Stars’ opener against Algeria, and ultimately made the error that turned the tie against the East Africans.

    Odhiambo had already cut a clumsy and hesitant presence before diving in recklessly on Youcef Atal before Baghdad Bounedjah stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.

    The veteran was then cut for the Tanzania game, but returned for the 3-0 defeat by Senegal, in which he also looked out of his depth.

  • Haris Belkebla Brest 2019

    Haris Belkebla

    Perhaps Belkebla will have been one of the only Algerians in the world not entirely delighted with his side’s Afcon final triumph…as he should have been part of the Fennecs team that lifted the crown.

    Instead, the Brest midfielder was axed from the squad ahead of the tournament after flashing his buttocks on camera while his teammate Alexandre Oukidja was playing Fortnite, unaware that the game was being streamed on Twitch.

    Belkebla was duly expelled from the Algeria squad and replaced by Andy Delort, missing out on the chance of immortality.


  • vory Coast Jean Michael Seri and South Africas defender, Thamsanqa Mkhize, June 2019

    Jean-Michael Seri

    Two summers ago, Seri appeared primed to move to Barcelona, and appeared on the brink of becoming the most visible African midfielder of his generation.

    That move ultimately didn’t materialise, and Seri moved to Fulham last summer, but struggled to impress as they were relegated to the Championship.

    The Afcon could have been the opportunity for Seri to have rebounded in style, but he played just over an hour in the Ivory Coast’s first two matches—ineffective displays against South Africa and Morocco—and was never seen again.

    The playmaker subsequently secured a season-long loan move to Galatasaray.

  • Yannick Bolasie DR Congo 2019

    Yannick Bolasie

    Like Seri, the Afcon represented an ideal opportunity for Bolasie to once again prove his quality after some injury-hit seasons since he impressed for the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015 and 2017.

    However, he was out of sorts in the defeat by Uganda—with his control and delivery letting him down—and was dropped from the starting XI thereafter.

    It’s been a startling fall from grace from one of African football’s shining lights.

  • Henry Onyekuru - Algeria vs Nigeria

    Henry Onyekuru

    Unlike Seri and Bolasie, both of whom had the opportunity to impress at the Nations Cup, Onyekuru will have left Egypt wondering why he didn’t get more chance to impress.

    The wideman, who missed out on the World Cup squad, was given just one brief cameo—of 12 minutes—despite Nigeria playing seven matches at the tournament.

    The versatile 22-year-old scored 14 goals in the Turkish Super Lig last term, but was only given a brief run-out against Algeria, suggesting he still doesn’t have the faith of Gernot Rohr.

  • Romain Genevois Adama Niane Troyes Caen Ligue 1 28042018

    Adama Niane

    Niane is one of several players on this list who make our Afcon Flop XI without having played a single minute in the tournament.

    The Mali striker was sent home after allegedly striking team captain Abdoulaye Diaby during a row in the hotel over who got priority with a visiting hairdresser.

    A farcical episode in a tournament of many fiascos.

  • Selemani Yamin Ndikumana

    Selemani Ndikumana

    Also departing the competition in disgrace was Burundi captain Ndikumana, who soured his nation’s maiden showing at the tournament by being expelled for ill-discipline.

    The striker allegedly rowed with coach Olivier Niyungeko regarding the team’s training programme, having refused to follow instructions.

    He was subsequently dismissed by Burundi Football Federation president Reverien Ndikuriyo, who explained that they were “forced to remove him from the camp before he causes further damage."