The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is bringing together some of the best footballers in the world. That’s the bottom line. And, for most football fans, this alone should be enough of a selling point.
To honor the competition, we will look at the AFCON fixtures and results. We will try to identify the heroes and the villains. And, we’ll try and scout great fantasy football picks along the way.
This year’s AFCON, dubbed AFCON 2021 for copyright reasons despite being played in 2022, has brought a number of changes, some expected some not. The tournament has expanded to include 24 teams. It means that nearly half of the continent’s national teams are taking part.
The tournament has also been delayed, as was Euro 2020, because of Covid health crisis. It has thrown a real wrench in the global fixture calendar. Despite this, Cameroon has taken up the task of hosting the tournament. And, most of Africa’s biggest football stars are present.
Let’s look at the AFCON 2021 results. Here are the winners, the losers, and who we’ve spotted for your fantasy football team.
AFCON 2021 – Top fantasy football players
AFCON was a lot of fun for neural supporters and a source of pride for Africans. It was also an opportunity for dedicated fantasy football fans to scan for their future teams.
Who made your list? Which NFT player card active in AFCON will you look to purchase for your fantasy football squads?
Here are the top-performing players in AFCON 2021:
Senegal’s goalkeeper managed five clean sheets and saved the penalty that helped make nation AFCON champions. The Chelsea shot-stopper has impressed throughout the year. Mendy would make a great addition to your fantasy Premier League draft.
Morocco to an extra-time loss against Egypt. However, AFCON proved a good opportunity for Achraf Hakimi to stake his claim as one of the best wing-backs in football. The PSG defender was his nation’s top-performer.
Vincent Aboubakar was the supremely confident, top goalscorer of the competition. His brace against Burkina Faso, no doubt, has made the Cameroon player, a hero at home. International tournaments seem created for just this kind of performance.
Mane, really, just needed an international trophy to confirm his future legendary status. The left-winger guided Senegal with calm and intensity throughout AFCON. Scoring the winning goal seemed a fitting end to the competition.
Egypt, it is true, often encouraged a defensive, negative style of football. The approach nearly paid off. Despite all of this, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah had glimpses of utter brilliance and often carried the team. Salah is one of the best players of his generation and AFCON helped show this.
Senegal *0 : 0 Egypt
AFCON involved plenty of surprises. Teams such as Nigeria or Algeria, among the favorites to win the tournament outright, exited the contest early. Others, like Malawi or Comoros, offered pleasant surprises of skill and dedication.
The final, however, pitted two of the most famous teams on the continent, each featuring two of the most esteemed contemporary African footballers. For many, this was a match between Mohamed Salah’s Egypt and Senegal’s Sadio Mane. Sharp-eyed, in-the-know viewers knew, however, that plenty of talent was on display for the AFCON final.
It was a tense affair. Senegal dominated for most of the match. Sadio Mane failed to score from a first-half spot-kick. Egypt tried to break up regular play and succeeded. Overall, the ball was in play for only about 40 minutes.
In the end, it was all decided by a penalty save by Edouard Mendy and a second attempt at converting a penalty from Mane.
This is Senegal’s first-ever AFCON win. It’s also a confirmation of this generation of players’ tremendous, and confirmed potential. It was a deserved victory for Senegal, at the end of a highly entertaining international tournament.
AFCON 3rd playoff
Burkina Faso 3 : 3* Cameroon
AFCON semi-finals results
Burkina Faso 1 : 3 Senegal
Cameroon 0 : 0* Egypt
Saturday 29 January AFCON results
Gambia 0 : 2 Cameroon
Burkina Faso 1 : 0 Tunisia
Egypt *2 : 1 Morocco
Senegal 3 : 1 Equatorial Guinea
Wednesday 26 January AFCON results
Ivory Coast 4 : 5 (PEN) Egypt
It was, arguably, one of the most anticipated matches in AFCON 2021. Both Ivory Coast and Egypt boast famous players. Both sides know that a victory in the African Cup of Nations is their most likely route to winning silverware.
It was a tense, albeit entertaining game. Egypt enjoyed the bulk of the greater goal chances. The Ivory Coast tried to take advantage of their considerable squad depth. In the end, it came down to penalties. One-shot separated the two nations. Mohamed Salah scored the decisive penalty. It leaves Egypt in a strong position, ready to fight for the AFCON trophy.
Mali 5 : 6 (PEN) Equatorial Guinea
Mali’s match against Equatoria Guinea proved another war of attrition. Mali dominated the game as expected. However, they failed to make their chances pay. By the end of regular time, players’ legs were beginning to tire. This had to be decided by penalties, and by sudden death. Dramatically, Equatorial Guinea clinched the qualification. They’re through to the quarter-finals, one of the more surprising results in AFCON 2021 so far.
Tuesday 25 January AFCON results
Senegal 2 : 0 Cape Verde
Senegal played a brave Cape Verde side who by 21 minutes were one man down. By 60 minutes they were two men down. Senegal earned a 2-0 victory, but not as smoothly as Sadio Mane and his teammates would have hoped.
Morocco 2 : 1 Malawi
Malawi was another small nation determined to do great things in AFCON. Morocco’s more prepared and famous squad earned a 2-1 victory, but Malawi’s performance will leave many football fans remembering the country’s nation.
Monday 24 January AFCON results
Guinea 0 : 1 Gambia
Bologna’s Musa Barrow was his nation’s hero as he scored the winning goal against Guinea. The victory takes Gambia through to the Quarter-Finals.
Cameroon 2 : 1 Comoros
Comoros was an unknown quantity to almost all supporters ahead of AFCON. Still, their performance is noteworthy. Not least of all, they gave host Cameroon a run for their money in this game. Vincent Aboubakar’s goal was enough to seal the deal.
Sunday 23 January AFCON results
Burkina Faso *1 : 1 Gabon
AFCON has left room for surprises. The meeting between Burkina Faso and Gabon in the knockout stage was one of those. The teams drew level after regular time, after a heartbreaking own goal from Adama Guira in the final minute of the game. The drama o the penalty shootout brought Gabon on top, and ready for the Quarter-Finals.
Nigeria 0 : 1 Tunisia
Nigeria was the oddsmakers’ favorite to win AFCON 2021 outright. However, tiredness and poor decisions have already led to their elimination. Yousef Msakni’s lone goal was enough to clinch victory for Tunisia in spite of the SUper Eagles’ dominance. It’s a poor end to the tournament for one of Africa’s most famed sides.
Thursday 19 January AFCON results
Gambia 1 : 0 Tunisia
Tunisia is sadly, surprisingly added to the list of greatest failures in AFCON 2021. In spite of boasting an impressive squad, the Tunisians leave the tournaments with only three points. Meanwhile, Gambia qualifies to the knockout stages after avoiding defeat in all matches. Despite not being one of the pundits’ favored teams, Gambia’s squad includes footballers that play in Serie A, Jupiler League, or Secunda Division. Excitement is ripe for the next phase in the tournament.
Mali 2 : 0 Mauritania
Mali were similarly confident going into their catch against Mauritania. Mali secured a 2-0 victory. c was once again on the scoresheet. The 18-year-old has now scored 8 goals in 6 matches for the national team. Many would favor Mali when they play Equatorial Guinea in the knockout stages.
Sierra Leone 0 : 1 Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone are two of the lowest-ranked teams in AFCON. They’ve captured the public’s imagination, however. Equatorial Guinea’s 1-0 victory guides them towards a sensational qualification in the knockout stage ahead of current champions, Algeria.
Ivory Coast 3 : 1 Algeria
Sebastian Haller made headlines ahead of AFCON by suggesting disrespect for the competition from various members of the press. His commitment to the Ivory Coast national team has been put under pressure and confirmed. The 3-1 victory over titleholder Algeria will help shine a light on the competition. And, it will further help showcase Haller’s excellent ability as a striker. Algeria, meanwhile, is surprisingly and unglamorously knocked out of the competition.
Fantasy football card of the day:
Sebastian Haller is one of the best active strikers at the moment. He’s providing this at the international level as well. In spite of his relative failure in the Premier League, Haller remains a player to watch for fantasy football in the immediate future.
Wednesday 19 January AFCON results
Guinea-Bissau 0 : 2 Nigeria
Nigeria picked up another three points to end a perfect start to AFCON 2021. Nigeria goes through on 9 points. Judging by their stats, their squad, and their players’ hunger for success, the Super Eagles should be considered favorites in the competition.
Egypt 1 : 0 Sudan
A lone goal from Mohamed Abdelmonem brought the Egyptians victory and qualification. However, overall performances have offered little to justify their status in the competition. This has happened in spite of star player, Mohamed Salah, starting every game.
Tuesday 18 January AFCON results
Zimbabwe 2 : 1 Guinea
Malawi 0 : 0 Senegal
Senegal hasn’t quite shown to be the force that many would have expected. The Lions of Teranga were already qualified before this match. However, Malawi’s brave display is noteworthy. It ended in a draw. Malawi could have easily won it. And, they qualify for the knockout stage in spite of a few pundits believing that they could do this.
Gabon 2 : 2 Morocco
Ghana 2 : 3 Comoros
Comoros might be one of the least famous national teams in the African Cup of Nations. That’s why their victory in the final group game will stay with fans and players for a long time in spite of Comoros not qualifying to the knockout sage.
Monday 17 January AFCON results
Cape Verde 1: 1 Cameroon
Burkina Faso 1: 1 Ethiopia
Sunday 16 January AFCON results
Gambia 1 – 1 Mali
Mali may have started as favorites against Gambia. They even dominated the game creating numerous goal scoring chances. But, The Eagles failed to distance themselves.
Striker Ibrahim Kone gave Mali the lead with a 79th goal scored from the spot. The same fate would however befall Mali in the final minute of normal time. Bologna’s Musa Barrow scored his own goal from the spot kick. It leaves both teams with a comfortable four points.
Tunisia 4 – 0 Mauritania
Tunisia haven’t quite hit the ground running in Cameroon. They earned a four goal difference against Mauritania. It doesn’t quite set the world right. But, it goes a long way in poving way Tunisia could be capable of in AFCON.
It was the highest scoring AFCON result so far. Tuisia’s star player, Saint-Etienne’s Wahbi Khazri, scored a double to keep Tunisia in contetion for qualification going into the final game of the group.
Ivory Coast 2 – 2 Sierra Leone
Yesterday also brought the tournament’s first great surprise. One of the continent’s top teams, the Ivory Coast, was held to a 2-2 draw by Sierra Leone who are ranked 108th in the FIFA world rankings.
It’s nothing hort of a historic result for Sierra Leone. The team currently has three squad members out of contract going into 2022. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast’s footballers play for the likes of AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, or Manchester United.
Algeria 0 – 1 Equatorial Guinea
Current champions, Algeria, didn’t fare much better. In spite of featuring a squad that inclued Riyad Mahrez, Ismael Bennacer, or Ramy Bensebaini, Algeria lost to Equatorial Guinea, ranked 114th globally by FIFA.
The historic winning goal was scored by Esteban Obiang. The striker currently plays in the Spanish fourth tier. The match is an interesting reminder of what can happen when smaller ranked teams are given the opportunity to play on a large stage.
Fantasy football card of the day:
Wahbi Khazri enjoyed a sensational game for Tunisia. It helped cement his reputation at international level. The player is active in Ligue 1. He is available in FootballCoin as free, 2* rated card.
Who have you scoted after the current AFCON results. Create your daily fantasy football team in FootballCoin and get ready to win real prizes.