EL-Mohamady and other players applaud the fans

The Total 2019 Africa Cup of Nations group stages came to an end on Tuesday with eight teams declared officially out of the competition.

A number of exciting matches played but who are the stand out players in their particular positions.

Ismael Kiyonga picks his first XI of the group stages

Okwi is joined by teammates to celebrate his goal against Zimbabwe

Goalkeeper: Mohamed Elshenawy (Egypt)

He is yet to concede a goal in the tournament so far but its not that he hasn’t been tested.

Elshenawy is one of the reasons Egypt are into the last 16 as he has made no less than three saves per match so far.

His best game so far came against Uganda as he made three crucial saves to deny the Cranes before the Pharaohs took the lead.

Right back: Ahmed Elmohamady (Egypt)

Elmohamady has thrived at right back consistently finding his teammates with his superb delivery from open play but on top of that, he has added goals to his name.

Two so far in the tournament and for a defender whose team is yet to concede, he has been fantastic.

Centre back: Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)

Perhaps the finest centre-half in African football and one of the best in the world. Koulibaly is the undisputed heartbeat of Senegal.

His influence has been evident in all games were he frustrated attackers with his game reading and interceptions but he also initiates attack from defence.

Centre back: Ghanem Saiss (Morocco)

Benatia could be the leader at the back but Saiss has shown class and ensured Morocco don’t concede a goal in the group stages.

His goal line clearance to deny Ivory Coast’s Jonathan Kodjia early on in the narrow win over the Elephants rescued his side during a short period in the match when Atlas Lions were sort of ideas and being overrun.

Left back: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

The Dortmund full-back has been ever-present in Morocco’s rock-solid back four, offering a useful outlet down the left when his side have had the opportunities to get forward.

Against Ivory Coast he did just that, racing into the opposition’s box often and on any other day could have had a goal to his name or at least win a penalty.

Central Midfield: Tarek Hamed (Egypt)

Is there a better central midfielder out in Egypt at the moment? Tarek’s nerveless control in the middle of the park has been the foundation of Egypt’s perfect tournament so far.

He was the key man who dictated the proceedings in the first two games and when Uganda Cranes was all over the hosts, he was called from the bench and Egypt regained control of the game.

Central Midfield: Ismael Bennacer (Algeria)

Bennacer makes the Desert Foxes team tick with his delicious long and short range passing.

The unsung hero of the team as he links defence with attack and rightfully earns his position in the team.

Attacking Midfielder: Riyadh Mahrez (Algeria)

The silky Manchester City winger is one of the few Europe based players that are shinning at the competition.

He proved his worthiness and quality in the 1-0 win over heavy weights Senegal and has been the creative spark in the Algeria team.

Attacking Midfielder: Mohamad Trezeguet (Egypt)

Salah is the most prised asset of the Egypt team but Trezeguet has been the man so far.

The attacking midfielder won the game against Zimbabwe with a sole strike and against The Cranes; he was involved in the second goal with his pace down the left.

Forward: Emmanuel Okwi (Uganda)

The striker is one of the many with two goals at the tournament but Okwi has been more than goals.

He secured the three points against DR Congo for Uganda with a rare headed goal and got his second of the competition against Zimbabwe with an easy tap in but it was his timely run and positioning that stood out in an otherwise lacklustre evening for the rest of his side.

Forward: Jordan Ayew (Ghana)

Ayew has been outstanding for the Black Stars in Egypt so far scoring twice like other ten players.

He has found the net with precise drives and provides the focal point for the players behind him.

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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