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AFCON: Team of the tournament

Ahead of Sunday's showpiece, we've picked out our team of the tournament following a dramatic month in Cameroon.


Mohamed Abou Gabal - Egypt

Egypt have two strong contenders for the title of best goalkeeper of the tournament as Mohamed El Shenawy distinguished himself before suffering an injury during the last-16 clash with the Ivory Coast.

His understudy, the experienced Zamalek stopper Mohamed Abou Gabal, also known as Gabaski, rose to the occasion, saving Eric Bailly's penalty to help the Pharaohs reach the quarter-finals. He fared even better in the semi-finals, keeping out free-scoring tournament hosts Cameroon for 120 minutes before making two crucial saves in the shootout.


Achraf Hakimi - Morocco

The Paris Saint-Germain defender already has a huge reputation as one of Europe's most exciting full-backs and he showed his quality with two goals in five whole-hearted performances for Morocco.

Hakimi produced one of the most memorable moments of the knockout stages with a stunning free-kick in the 70th minute that proved to be the decisive goal in the north Africans' 2-1 win over Malawi in the last 16.


Abdou Diallo - Senegal

Senegal's run to the final has been a real team effort and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly has been as solid as ever in his four appearances at the finals.

However, Koulibaly's defensive partner Abdou Diallo of PSG gets the nod from us after playing every minute of his nation's campaign and scoring the opening goal in their 3-1 semi-final win over Burkina Faso.


Mohamed Abdelmonem - Egypt

Egypt have conceded only one goal from open play in their first six matches at the AFCON finals and centre-back Mohamed Abdelmonem has played a major role in their defensive excellence.

The 23-year-old had to take on extra responsibility after experienced defender Ahmed Hegazi was injured in the quarter-final against Morocco. Abdelmonem has done his defensive work well, looked comfortable on the ball, and scored the only goal in the crucial group-stage win over Sudan.


Saliou Ciss - Senegal

Another member of the Senegal backline to catch the eye has been left-back Saliou Ciss, who plays his club football for Nancy in the French second division.

Ciss has been an ultra-consistent performer in his five AFCON appearances and he set up Ismaila Sarr to score the third goal in the quarter-final win over Equatorial Guinea after a brilliant burst down the left flank.

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Ibrahim Sangare - Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast were knocked out on penalties by Egypt at the last-16 stage but Ibrahim Sangare enhanced his reputation with some impressive displays in the heart of the Elephants' midfield.

The PSV Eindhoven man powered home a header in his side's 3-1 group-stage win over defending champions Algeria and his industrious performances showed why he is reportedly on the radar of so many Premier League clubs.


Gustavo Sangare - Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso enjoyed a dream run to the semi-finals of the tournament, pulling off a shock win over Tunisia in the quarter-finals, and midfielder Gustavo Sangare scored the first goal of the finals to put his side ahead against hosts Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions came back to win their Group A game 2-1 but Sangare, currently playing in France's Ligue 2, went on to play a key role in his team's unexpected run to the last four.


Karl Toko Ekambi - Cameroon

In a tournament dominated by defences, hosts Cameroon were the great entertainers and attacking midfielder Karl Toko Ekambi continued his fine club form with Lyon.

Having scored six goals in six Europa League games this season, he struck five times in six starts including two smart finishes and a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 quarter-final win over Gambia.


Nicolas Pepe - Ivory Coast

Nicolas Pepe has been a bit-part player for Arsenal this season but the Gunners' record signing gave a reminder of his talent with some dynamic displays for the Ivory Coast.

Pepe scored against Sierra Leone, provided a goal and an assist in the victory over Algeria, and arguably outshone Mohamed Salah in the last-16 penalty-shootout defeat to Egypt.


Vincent Aboubakar - Cameroon

Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar barely put a foot wrong at his home tournament, apart from when he unwisely questioned Salah's quality before Cameroon's semi-final loss to Egypt.

The former Porto man made a flying start to the finals with six goals in his first four matches. He was the only Cameroon player to score in the semi-final shootout and took his tally for the tournament to eight thanks to a brace in the third/fourth-place playoff.


Sadio Mane - Senegal

Egypt's dour, if effective, brand of football has cramped Salah's style so his Liverpool teammate Mane, who is priced at 7/4 to score in Sunday's final against Egpyt, is preferred after contributing three goals and two assists during Senegal's run to the AFCON final.

The fleet-footed forward broke the resistance of nine-man Cape Verde in the last 16, scored and set up a goal in the semi-final win over Burkina Faso, and is hoping to deliver a first AFCON title for the Lions of Teranga in Sunday's final.

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