Algeria’s U17 captain, Moslem Anatouf, is the star on day one of the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations. The 2022 U17 Arab Cup player of the tournament netted two goals in the opening fixture against Somalia to see his side clinch all three points.
A stellar performance that earned him the first Man of the Match award. This 17-year-old currently leads the goal scoring chart with two goals.
The Academie SBA FAF striker shares the spotlight in round one with the likes of Serigne Fallou Diouf from Senegal, Favour Daniel from Nigeria,Abdelhamid Ait Bouldal and Adam Hanin from Morocco, and last but not least, Mamadou Doumba from Mali. All these players have scored a goal in their first game of the tournament.
So far, five games have been played and seven goals have been scored, with four of them coming in the second half. Algeria and Morocco are the only two teams to have found the back of the net twice.
The low percentage of goals registered in this first half can be credited to the brilliant performances put up by the keepers of the various team selections. Serigne Diouf, for example, denied Congo an early lead by saving an Alexandre Boukoulou penalty. Shadrick Kalyati tamed Light Eke’s spot kick in additional time. Mali Bourama Kone is the first keeper to win the man of the match award in this edition thanks to his brilliant performance in their game against Burkina Faso.
Eye-catching performances have been on full display in the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations.
The team superiority that used to exist in the past is slowly diminishing with newcomers proving they deserve their place in the tournament. Somalia, for example, despite this being their first major continental tournament, the young stars dominated in ball possession over Algeria, with more passes and attempting over ten shots, with three on target. Teams like Algeria, Senegal, and Nigeria have been doing pretty well with crosses, ball coordination, and other vital aspects of the game.
Round two continues on Tuesday, May 2, with more room for improvement in all 11 participating countries.
May 2, 2023, Nelson Mandela Stadium
Algeria vs. Senegal, 5 p.m.
Congo vs. Somalia, 8 p.m.
May 3, 2023, Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium
Nigeria vs. Morocco, 5 p.m. CAT
South Africa vs. Zambia, 8 p.m.
May 4, 2023; May 19, 1956 stadium
Cameroon vs. Mali, 5 p.m.
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