PSL-based goalkeepers among the last standing at Afcon

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Badra Ali Sangaré is manning the goal for Côte d’Ivoire at Afcon in Cameroon. Photo: Alain Guy Suffo / BackpagePix
Badra Ali Sangaré is manning the goal for Côte d’Ivoire at Afcon in Cameroon. Photo: Alain Guy Suffo / BackpagePix

SPORT


All but one PSL-based goalkeepers at Afcon have advanced to the knockout phase with their respective countries.

The continental championships under way in Cameroon started with the PSL as the league with the most representatives, with 16 players picked from across the South African top and second divisions.

With six PSL players on their roster, Zimbabwe had the bulk of the players, but the Warriors were eliminated in the first round, leaving Malawi, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Gabon and Gambia as the remaining nations with SA-based players in their ranks.

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Except for Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, all the goalies who ply their trade in South Africa have had minutes at Afcon.

Here is how they have fared:

Badra Ali Sangaré

Of the remaining PSL group in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and JDR Stars keeper, Badra Ali Sangaré has started in all the three group matches for the Elephants en route to their qualification for the last 16 as Group E winners.

The 35-year-old goalie – who kept one clean sheet in three matches – has continued to be on national duty despite suffering personal tragedy following the passing on of his father recently.

Sangaré played a blinder in limiting Algeria to just one in the Ivorians 4-1 drubbing that led to the first-round elimination of the defending champions on Thursday night.

This was some form of redemption after his howler led to Sierra Leone’s late equaliser in a dramatic 2-2 draw in the Elephants’ second match of the tournament.

There was also a scare after Sangaré was taken to hospital due to an injury he suffered from landing awkwardly after committing the error against the Leone Stars last Sunday.

Côte d’Ivoire, who are among the Afcon titles favourites, will face Egypt in the knockout round on Wednesday.

Jean-Noël Amonome

Like Sangaré, AmaZulu goalkeeper Jean-Noël Amonome also started for Gabon in the Panthers’ three group matches.

Interestingly, Amonome arrived at Afcon without regular club football minutes, but he got the nod for Gabon, who qualified for the last 16 as Group C runners-up to Morocco.

The 24-year-old goalminder kept just one clean slate in Gabon’s 1-0 win over debutants Comoros in their first group fixture. He would want to do better when Gabon face Burkina Faso in the opening fixture of the last 16 on Sunday.

Daniel Akpeyi

Expectations were that Kaizer Chiefs number one Daniel Akpeyi would be the automatic choice for Nigeria at Afcon, by virtue of the 35-year-old having been one of the stars of the Super Eagles’ run to the semifinals at the last edition in Egypt in 2019.

However, Akpeyi has been one of the unused substitutes for Nigeria in their march to the last 16 in Cameroon.

Instead, coach Augustine Eguavoen has preferred 22-year-old Maduka Okoye in goal, who started in Nigeria’s opening two matches, the 1-0 win over Egypt and the 3-1 victory against Sudan.

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Okoye, who was rested in the Eagles’ 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in their final group match on Wednesday, plays for Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie.

The young goalie is expected to regain his position when Nigeria meet Tunisia in Sunday’s late last 16 clashes.

Modou Jobe

Black Leopards keeper Modou Jobe played in Gambia’s opening two matches – the 1-0 win over Mauritania and the 1-1 draw against Mali.

But the 33-year-old is at risk of losing his spot to the team’s 23-year-old reserve keeper Baboucarr Gayé.

Gayé started in the Scorpions’ final group match against Tunisia and he was voted man of the match in a shock 1-0 win over Tunisia on Thursday night.

He was born in Germany and plays for FC Rot-Weiss Koblenz in Germany’s fourth tier league.

With his stellar show against the Tunisians, Gayé may have earned a starting berth in Gambia’s last 16 games against Guinea on Monday.

Talbert Shumba

At least it ended well for Free State Stars goalminder Talbert Shumba, who was handed the gloves in Zimbabwe’s final group match, a 2-1 win against Guinea.

The 31-year-old deputised for Petros Mhari, who started in the Warriors’ defeats to Senegal (1-0) and Malawi (2-1), the setback that led to Zimbabwe’s early exit.

AFCON LAST 16 FIXTURES

Sunday

Burkina Faso vs Gabon, 6pm

Nigeria vs Tunisia, 9pm

Monday

Guinea vs Gambia, 6pm

Cameroon vs Comoros, 9pm

Tuesday

Senegal vs Cape Verde, 6pm

Morocco vs Malawi, 9pm

Wednesday

Egypt vs Côte d’Ivoire, 6pm

Mali vs Equatorial Guinea, 9pm


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Gomolemo Motshwane  

Sport journalist

+27 11 713 9001
gomolemo.motshwane@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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