An exciting, some might also say exacting, group phase of the 2017 African Nations Cup is finally behind us, and teams can now take stock before the business end kicks off.
There were huge expectations of teams and players coming into the tournament and now, with half the contestants having been eliminated, Colin Udoh picks the five players who, well, underwhelmed …
RAIS MBOLHI (ALGERIA)
Algeria’s minder came into the tournament as one of the continent’s leading goalkeeping lights. He left with his reputation in serious need of reconstructive surgery after major errors, especially in the opening game against Zimbabwe, where he let in two soft goals.
ADAMA TRAORE (COTE d’IVOIRE)
There are many who questioned why Côte d’Ivoire’s left-back was in the squad in the first place, and his shoddy showings did everything to prove them right.
KOUMBA TANDJIGORA (GABON)
There are many reasons for Gabon’s early elimination from their own tournament, and Merlin was one of them. His reckless tackling in that opening game against Guinea-Bissau not only earned him a yellow card, but left him on the borderline of red. And he was so close that Antonio Camacho had to yank him off. The Panthers collapsed soon after and Guinea-Bissau won the point that ultimately eliminated Gabon.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (TOGO)
Much is expected of big-name strikers, and Adebayor is as big as they come. Unfortunately, he was the biggest name who failed to live up to his bloated billing. The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker looked especially pathetic in their final group game against DRC, when he was completely smothered by Bope, who only just missed making this list on the strength of that performance.
MALICK EVOUNA (GABON)
The other half of Gabon’s supposedly deadly duo, Evouna was about as deadly as a squirrrel among a pride of lions. Nothing seemed to come off for the forward and he not only constantly coughed up possession, but found moves breaking down at his feet.