AFCON 2017 Week One Review: What is Wrong With African Strikers?

The first week of the African Nations cup has come to an end and the second is starting today, with questions on the abilities of African strikers being strongly asked.

The competition which is expected to be the “world cup” of the continent and therefore the highest ground for players to display their prowess has received very little from the teams and mostly strikers, as the goals were not just coming.

In the first week of the tournament which featured 16 teams in 8 matches, only a total of 12 goals were scored. Of these,  3 were scored from the penalty spot, 3 by defenders, 2 by Mahrez, and the rest between midfielders and strikers.

More so, in general, with people like Mane who is on fire for Liverpool, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez, Andrew Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, and Mohamed Salah, among many others, we are expecting that more balls should see the back of the net.

While the overall performance is really raising questions on how good really African strikers are for their countries, the tournament has witnessed some spectacular goals and free Kicks, that were exceptional in their rights, and great misses too.

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

Review of the Games


Group A

This group ended the first week with each team going home with a goal. In the game between the host, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau,  Juary waited for the last minute to spoil it for Gabon by cancelling Aubameyang’s first half goal.

In the game between Burkina Faso and Cameroun, Benjamin Moukandjo came from behind to level Dayo’s goal that would have given Burkina Faso the day.

See Also: Issa Hayatou To Extend CAF Rule Into Fourth Decade

Group B

The game between Tunisia and Senegal, saw Tunisia suffering two unreplied goal courtesy of Mane’s penalty goal and Mbodji’s great header.

On the other side of the group, the game between Algeria and Zimbabwe ended with both sides keeping two goals in their boots.

Group C

Ivory coast and Togo settled with no goals for either side, as both The Elephants failed to get the Hawks as was largely anticipated.

The game between DR Congo and Morocco ended 1-0 in favour of Congo.

Group D

André Ayew’s penalty goal was all the Black Stars needed to have 3 points in their bag in the game between Ghana and Uganda which ended 1 – nil.

In the other game of the group, neither side could overwhelm the other as Egypt and Mali went away without breaking the goalline.