A youthful looking Indomitable Lions side stunned the world by lifting the just ended Nation’s Cup staged in Gabon led by their inspirational Christian Basagog. The surprise nature of the triumphant Lions can however be pinned to the woeful form of some stellar names in the continent led by Ghanaian vice skipper Andre Ayew.
A postmortem review of the biannual event in consultation with the fans however pieced together a list of five stellar names that fluffed at the tournament. From Andre Ayew to the deceptive Pierre Emmerick Aubameyeng, Emmanuel Adebayor to Ahmed Akaichi or Diemanse Mbokani to Wilfred Zaha, it will be fair to tag some of these household names as dreadful per their outings in Gabon.
On home soil, Pierre Emmerick Aubameyeng was supposed to lead Gabon into their first ever semi finals at the very least. He was billed to roll his way into the team of the tournament with one eye on the tourney best player. The Borrusia Dortmund star however failed to find the back of the net on open play, coiling under the canopy of two spot kicks in a woeful tournament for the Laval born Gabon goal machine. The host were crushed out at the first hurdle in what was a below par performance for the 2015 African footballer of the year.
Many a football fan expected Riyadh Karim Mahrez to lead Algeria to their first AFCON trophy since 1990 under the leadership of Rabbar Madjar. The Foxes wing wizard however failed to ink his authority in their group with no single win recorded by the Desert Foxes. A brace in the opening game was supposed to cheer the Foxes through but that was just their reward with Islam Slimani joining him on same two goals despite crushing out. The France born Algier simply failed to unleash the Mahrez we saw at the king Power in the past 12 months.
Ahmed Akaichi was supposed to be the focal point for Tunisia as a replacement to the aged Yassine Chikaoui. Akaichi led the scoring chart for the Carthage Eagles in the 2015 edition of the Nation’s cup but sarcastically failed to inspire the 2004 champions into the last four despite the array of stars paraded. Akaichi and his deceptive Eagles have since been tipped to earn their cycle with a trophy but performance like this might be catastrophic to their quest.
Andre Ayew was billed to be the focal point of the Black Stars despite just returning from injury in the build up to the tournament. The former Marseilles and Swansea wide man however failed to stamp his authority in the past tournament. A below par performance from the Hammers winger in the semi finals against Cameroon summed up the woeful personal tournament for the Ghanaian. A rating of 4/10 seems OK for the winger.
Wilfred Zaha returned to his native country from England in the build up to the Nation’s Cup. Many expected him to at least pick a spot in the team of tournament only for him to depart at the group stages. The Crystal Palace attacking prodigy failed to import his flicks and tricks onto the African soil, in what was by his lofty standard, a poor outing by all standard. The former Manchester United winger silently bid goodbye to the tournament without finding the back for the reigning cup holders.
other notable players included Emmanuel Adebayor, Yassine Brahimi and Diemanse Mbokani.
Written by : Saani Abacha