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AFCON 2021: Top ten goals of the group stage

It was a bit of a slow start to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, but the action and most importantly the goals picked up as the group stage progressed. Below are ten of the best goals from the action in Cameroon so far:

10. Pablo Ganet- Equatorial Guinea vs. Sierra Leone

Equatorial Guinea and Real Murcia central midfielder Pablo Ganet displayed his technical ability with an excellent strike that stood as the match winner in the Nzalang Nacional’s final Group E matchup against Sierra Leone. Keep an eye on Ganet in the knockout stage, who is showing a knack for scoring timely goals.

9. Gabadinho Mhango- Malawi vs. Zimbabwe

Frank “Gabadinho” Mhango has had an injury-plagued year at club level with Orlando Pirates but the Malawi marksman inspired the Flames to their first ever appearance in the knockout stage of the AFCON. His second goal and match winner against Zimbabwe was a true instinctive poacher’s finish.

8. Ahmed Mogni- Comoros vs. Ghana

The 30-year-old playing in France’s third tier with Annecy showed excellent composure and agility on the dribble to escape Ghana’s Thomas Partey before striking an excellent low finish for Comoros’ second goal in their upset of Ghana.

7. Ablie Jallow- Gambia vs. Mauritania

The first of the 23-year-old RFC Seraing forward’s two game-winning goals in the group stage came in Gambia’s first ever AFCON match against Mauritania, getting the Scorpions off to an ideal start in Cameroon.

6. William Troost-Ekong- Nigeria vs. Guinea-Bissau

The joy was clear when Nigeria’s center back and captain put the Super Eagles beyond reach against Guinea-Bissau, but the reason his goal is on this list is because of the mesmerizing dribble run and shot by Moses Simon to set up Troost-Ekong’s tap in from close range.

5. Wahbi Khazri- Tunisia vs. Mauritania

The Tunisian forward set up the third goal for the Carthage Eagles in their 4-0 thrashing of Mauritania by executing a clever dummy before finishing off an excellent team movement.

4. Naby Keïta- Guinea vs. Zimbabwe

Guinea’s attack continues to struggle and the Syli Nationale fell to a surprise defeat against Zimbabwe in their final Group B match. However, star midfielder Naby Keïta certainly did his part to bring Guinea back into the match with an outstanding individual effort.

3. André Ayew- Ghana vs. Gabon

Ghana’s shock elimination at the group stage ended with only one point but captain André Ayew appeared to have the Black Stars back on track with a fantastic opening goal in their second match against Gabon.

2. Achraf Hakimi- Morocco vs. Gabon

Gabon gave Group C winners Morocco all they could handle, taking the lead in the 81st minute. However, Paris Saint-Germain full back Hakimi helped keep the Atlas Lions in first place with this thunderbolt free kick only a couple of minutes later.

1. Garry Rodrigues- Cape Verde vs. Cameroon

The Olympiakos winger emerged as Cape Verde’s most influential player by helping the Blue Sharks to the Round of 16, but his equalizer against hosts Cameroon was an extraordinary moment of trickery even by his standards.

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