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Too Good, Too Bad: Africa’s best and worst after World Cup matchday two

09:11 SAST 2022/11/29
Vincent Aboubakar Cameroon Serbia 2022 World Cup
A rip-roaring run of games by the continent’s sides have set things up nicely for the final group matchday

All but two of Africa’s representatives picked up wins in the second matchday of games, a significant improvement where none of Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon and Ghana picked up a win in their respective first fixtures.

Monday produced unbridled entertainment with the Indomitable Lions and the Black Stars playing out impressive games against Serbia and South Korea respectively. On Sunday, Morocco were defeating the side ranked second by Fifa, 2-0, putting them in the driver’s seat to make it out of Group F.

In this feature, GOAL highlights stand-out showings for better or worse.

  • Edouard Mendy Senegal

    Too Good: Edouard Mendy

    After enduring a torrid time in the closing stages against the Netherlands, the Senegal goalkeeper was in fine form against World Cup hosts Qatar.

    The Teranga Lions won 3-1 but it was far from easy. At 2-0, the Chelsea man made two saves to prevent the Maroon from scoring earlier, possibly renewing the confidence that may have been lost.

    Mendy will hope for a repeat performance when Aliou Cisse’s team do battle with Ecuador on Tuesday.

  • Tunisia World Cup 2022.

    Too Bad: Tunisia

    In a matchday where Africa’s representatives sparkled, Tunisia fell just short of expectations against an Australian side that were there for the taking.

    The Eagles of Carthage did not fashion enough clear-cut openings to pick up a point at least after falling behind to Mitchell Duke’s 23rd-minute strike.

    They must now defeat France in their final group game to have any chance of making it out of Group D.

  • ghanem saiss morocco belgium

    Too Good: Romain Saiss

    The centre-back took up the thankless task in Morocco’s epic 2-0 win over Belgium, seldom losing his duels against the Red Devils.

    Saiss won every aerial duel and made six recoveries in 90 minutes, outdone by Sofyan Amrabat (nine).

    The Atlas Lions’ captain was credited with his team’s first but it was his defensive actions that stood out even more.

  • Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

    Too Bad: Andre Zambo Anguissa

    Even though Cameroon fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 against Serbia, Anguissa had an underwhelming outing.

    The Napoli man lost Strahinja Pavlovic for the European nation’s equaliser (1-1) and lost possession in a dangerous area for their second.

    Rigobert Song will need his star midfielder to play at his best against Brazil if the Indomitable Lions are to stun the Selecao.

  • Vincent Aboubakar Camerún

    Too Good: Vincent Aboubakar

    Cameroon ought to be on the brink but for Aboubakar who changed the game after his introduction against Serbia.

    The striker was introduced in the 55th minute with the Lions 3-1 down and had scored one and assisted another 11 minutes later to make it 3-3.

    After a disappointing short outing against Switzerland, Aboubakar was brilliant on Monday afternoon.

  • Karl Toko Ekambi Cameroon.

    Too Bad: Karl Toko Ekambi

    It has been frustrating to see the Olympique Lyon man fail to sparkle in Qatar as his struggles in front of goal continue.

    He was unsurprisingly withdrawn in the 67th minute, with Song looking to other members of the squad to turn the game around.

    Will the Lyon attacker be dropped against Brazil?

  • Mohammed Kudus celebrates against South Korea.

    Too Good: Mohammed Kudus

    We already said Kudus held the keys to Ghana’s Round of 16 hopes and a pair of goals proved this in Monday’s wildly exciting 3-2 win over South Korea.

    The Black Stars have netted five times in two games and the Ajax man has been involved in three, even though he was not officially credited with the assist for Andre Ayew’s goal.

    With the West African nation in a good position heading into their 2010 'rematch' with Uruguay, Otto Addo will need another top Kudus showing in matchday three.

  • Mohammed Salisu of Ghana.

    Too Good: Mohammed Salisu

    It will be remiss to overlook Salisu who had a busy outing as the South Koreans bombarded the Ghana box with a glut of crosses.

    The Southampton defender cleared the ball from harm’s way multiple times, won four of seven aerial duels and cleared the ball off the line when it was goal-bound.

    It was the centre-back’s 24th-minute goal that opened the scoring and gave Ghana the required confidence after a tough start at the Education City Stadium.

    Another top showing against Uruguay will be just what the doctor ordered for Salisu, who recovered from conceding a harsh penalty against Portugal to produce a commendable performance on Monday.