Top scorers underwhelm at AFCON 2017
Posted: 5 February 2017 Time: 16:26
The disappointing trend of African Nation Cup top scorers failing to reach five goals is set to continue for a third year running.
With only the final to play before the Gabon 2017 edition of the Nations Cup comes to an end tonight, Junior Kabananga remains the leading scorer with three goals to his name.
Kabananga scored all three goals in the group stages before DR Congo got knocked out in the last eight.
Only two players who have a chance of adding on to their tally of two goals are still involved in the competition – Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui of Cameroon and Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah.
Ngadeu-Ngadjui is a central defender who has been using his height to good effect in this tournament, scoring the opener in Thursday’s semi-final win over Ghana, while he netted the winner against Guinea-Bissau in the group stages.
Salah scored in the last pool match against the Black Stars and again in the semi-finals against Burkina Faso.
The last three editions of the AFCON have failed to produce a top scorer who reaches five goals.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Manucho and Houssine Kharja were the top scorers in 2012 with the trio finishing on three goals each.
At the 2013 edition in South Africa five players – Ahmed Akaichi, Andre Ayew, Javier Balboa, Thievy Bifouna and Dieumerci Mbokani – all ended as top scorers with three goals each. Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike and Mubarak Wakaso of Ghana both finished with four goals.
The last man to reach five goals was Nagy Geddo of Egypt seven years ago in Angola while Laurent Pokou of Ivory Coast remains the highest ever top scorer after slamming eight in 1970.
South African legend Benni McCarthy finished the 1998 tournament as joint top scorer along with Egypt legend Hassan Hossam on seven goals.
Cameroon forward Samuel Eto’o remains top of the pile of the all-time top scorers on 17 goals in Nations Cup finals.
By Lovemore Moyo in Gabon, courtesy of SuperSport