As the 2019 African Cup of Nations reach it’s final game today when the Desert Foxes of Algeria trade tackle with the Teranga Lions of Senegal, the race for the highest goals scorers is now narrowed down to three (3) players.
Nigeria’s Jude Odion Ighalo leads the goal scorers chat with five (5) goals as he led the Super Eagles of Nigeria to a bronze medal finish with his solitary goal in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Tunisia in the Third Place Playoffs game. The Chinese based player came in as a substitute to score Nigeria’s only goal in their opening group game against Burundi. Ighalo also scored a brace in the classic 3-2 Round of 16 victory for Nigeria over outgoing Champions, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. His penalty goal in the semi final loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria was not enough to take his team to the final as a last gasp Riyadh Mahrez goal confirmed Algeria place in the final to face Senegal.
Algeria has two (2) players in the running to catch up with Ighalo or even surpass his five (5) goals tally in the final game. Riyadh Mahrez and Adam Ounas both on three (3) goals can join Ighalo on five (5) is both any can get a brace today. A hatrick from any of the Algerian will automatically make one of them topple Ighalo to emerge as the highest goal scorer of the tournament.
For the Teranga Lion of Senegal, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane also has three (3) goals to his credit. Mane can be disappointed in the fact that he has missed two (2) penalties thus far in the group stage of the competition. This might have enabled him equal Ighalo’s goal tally but alas Mane must score a brace today to equal Ighalo goal scoring record or better still score a hatrick against an organised Algerian side to see him emerge as the highest goal scorer of the tournament.
With this in place, the stage is set for who will emerge as the highest goal scorer of the tournament whether Jude Odion Ighalo will run away with the award or One of Mane, Mahrez and Ounas can equal or surpass his goal scoring tally in the final.
The stage is set for Algeria Vs Senegal AFCON 2019 final.
By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde