TOP 10 AFRICAN PERFORMERS AT THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES
The recently concluded international break saw various high-profile footballers take the center stage in different scintillating encounters as players from the African continent played it out while representing their respective nationalities. Below are a few players that had a great show of performance over the week.
10. Djibrilla Ibrahim:
Ibrahim is a Niger professional football player who plays as a center-back for Ghana premier league club Cheetah FC.
Ibrahim was on target in Niger’s international friendly match against Sierra Leone which was their first-ever friendly match after 6 outings. After a 0-0 stalemate at halftime, Djibrilla scored the winner and only goal of the match with just 11 minutes into the second half to give his side a 1-0 win.
9. Noussair Mazraoui:
Mazraoui is a Moroccan professional footballer who plays as a right-back for Dutch football club Ajax FC.
When Morocco faced the Democratic Republic of Congo in an international friendly a few days ago, Mazraoui’s strike put Morocco ahead with few seconds left until the end of the first half before his effort was canceled out by their opponents with an hour gone on the clock to end the game in a 1-1 stalemate. That result leaves Morocco unbeaten in all the 3 outings against Congo.
8. Mohamed Abdelrahman:
Abdelrahman is a Sudanese professional football player who plays as a supporting striker for the Algerian football club CABB Arreridj.
Sudan faced Togo in the international friendlies, and Sudan’s forward Abdelrahman, who came on as a tactical substitute, was on target as he secured a vital and much-needed equalizer for his side at the dying seconds of full time after Togo had initially gotten the lead from the 70th minute in a brawling encounter. The match ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Mateus is an Angolan professional football player who plays as a left winger for Portuguese football club FC Penafiel.
The 36-year-old forward was on target in his side’s 3-0 win over Mozambique in the international friendly as he bagged a brace in the 45th and 77th minute respectively to put his team up in a comfortable lead.
6. Saidi Ntibazonkiza:
Ntibazonkiza is a Burundian professional football player who plays as a forward for Tanzania premier league club Young Africans Sports Club also popularly known as Yanga S.C.
In the international friendly match between Tanzania and Burundi, Saidi was on target as he scored the only goal of the match for his side in the 86th minute of play to secure a 1-0 victory for Burundi.
5. Eric Traore:
Traore is a Burkina Faso football player who plays as a winger for Egyptian Premier League club Pyramids.
The 24-year-old forward became a member of his national team just a year after Burkina Faso lost to Nigeria in the African Cup Of Nations finals in 2013. Traore scored the goal that made the difference when Burkina Faso faced Madagascar in the international friendlies after a 1-1 stalemate since the first half of the game. His goal in the 64th minute ensured his team ran away with a 2-1 win over Madagascar.
4. Kelechi Iheanacho:
Iheanacho is a Nigerian professional football player who plays as a forward for premier league club Leicester city.
The Nigerian national team was looking to get back to winning ways when they faced Tunisia in an international friendly after a disappointing loss at Algeria’s hands a few days before. Iheanacho opened the scoring for Nigeria in the 21st minute of the first half to put Nigeria 1-0 up and had the opportunity to double Nigeria’s lead through a spot-kick but had his effort saved by Tunisia’s goalkeeper Farouk. The super eagles of Nigeria were made to pay for their miss as Tunisia found an equalizer at the stroke of half time to keep the game at 1-1 until the referee blew for the final whistle.
3. Anis Ben Slimane:
Slimane is a Tunisian professional football player who plays as a central midfielder for Danish league side Brondby IF.
Slimane was on target for his side in the international friendly win against Sudan as he put the final nail on the coffin in the 35th minute to secure a 3-0 win for Tunisia. All three goals of the were scored in succession by the Tunisian team only for the second half of the game to offer nothing but gridlock from both teams.
2. Collins Sikombe:
Sikombe is a Zambian professional football player who plays as a midfielder for Zambia Super League club Napsa Stars FC in the MTN/FAZ super division.
2012 AFCON champions Zambia had a crunch international friendly encounter against Malawi and it was Sikombe’s solo effort in the 14th minute of play that earned the former African champions a deserved 1-0 win over Malawi. That was also their first international win in 2020 following their disappointing campaign in 2019 as they failed to qualify for the 2019 AFCON tournament with their last appearance being in 2015 when they crashed out in the group stage.
1. Assan Ceesay:
Ceesay is a Gambian professional football player who plays as a forward for Swiss football Club FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League.
The 26-year-old striker singlehandedly gifted his team a vital 1-0 win against Congo Brazzaville in their international friendly match which held on the 9th of October. After a fruitless encounter of 0-0 stalemate in the first half, it only took Assan Ceesay 10 minutes into the restart of the second half to put his team up into the lead. Tenacious defensive efforts from the Gambian defense line followed throughout the remainder of the game to ensure they secured their win by holding on to Ceesay’s second-half strike.