The Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) will come to its 2019 final day and match in Cairo international Stadium in Egypt capital at 20.00 G.M.T on Friday in the over 50, 000 seating capacity stadium. The Pharos of Egypt will not be part of the finals as there were eliminated from the tournament by South Africa which has gone a long way to deny the Africa best player for two year running the chance to add to his title cabinet in Mohamed Salah.
The attention will now shift to Salah’s Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane as he leads his national side against another amazing EPL player in Riyad Mahrez, who plays for Manchester City for who come top of this year’s AFCON competition.
Mahrez led Algeria side has statistical advantage over their rivals with four wins and two draws over the counterpart has record 3 victories even though Senegal leads in the FIFA and CAF team ranking. Algeria edged out their West African opponent in the group stage by a lone goal to finish top of the group C and will hope for a repeat.
Algeria got to the finals by defeating Nigeria in one of the semi final matches when Riyad Mahrez scored a stunning final minute free kick to give the Fennec Fox the finals ticket. Mahrez will be man to watch as he leads Algeria to their first AFCON finals since 1990 (after defeating the same Nigeria) against Mane who has helped Senegal to reach this stage of the competitions. Both players are on level with three goals each behind Nigerias Ighalo who has two more.
All eyes will be on the two players to carry their teams on their shoulders in a battle of supremacy. It should be recalled that the both players really fought had each other in their various team last league season as Liverpool narrowly missed out the premier league title to their rivals Manchester City but however went on to rule Europe with their UEFA Champions league title.
Mane in an interview reiterated how important the title is to him as he was ready to swap his UEFA Champions league medal for the AFCON which he had dreamt not only for himself but the country. Senegal had to console themselves with second place as they lost to Cameroon in 2002 AFCON finals which they hope is don’t repeat again.
I believe whoever emerges victorious in this match may go on to win the Africa player of the year Award.
What do you think?