WhoScored.com pick their team of the semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations; watch Senegal vs Egypt in the final, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 6.30pm on Sunday, kick-off 7pm
Saturday 5 February 2022 09:21, UK
Who impressed during the semi-finals at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations? WhoScored.com pick their team of the round...
So we have our two finalists. Senegal and Egypt will go head-to-head live on Sky Sports on Sunday evening for the African Cup of Nations title.
Funnily enough, it's those two sides who dominate the WhoScored.com team of the semi-finals, with nine representatives between them. Here's who made the cut...
Mohamed Abou Gabal pulled off a WhoScored.com man-of-the-match display for Egypt in their penalty shootout win over AFCON hosts Cameroon. He made three saves in 120 minutes of action and saved two Cameroon penalties, which saw the Pharaohs progress to Sunday's final, and Gabal earn a rating of 8.76.
The sole representative for hosts Cameroon in the team of the round, Collins Fai may have ended up on the losing side on Thursday night, but put in a solid shift regardless. The 29-year-old made seven tackles and four interceptions to help keep the Egypt attack at bay and Fai to a WhoScored.com rating of 8.14.
Mohamed Abdelmonem has been a revelation at the heart of the Egypt defence since coming into the side, and he excelled for the Pharaohs in the shootout win over Cameroon as evidenced by his WhoScored.com rating of 7.61. Five aerial duels won, three clearances and two tackles capped another solid display from the 23-year-old.
The first of four Senegal representatives, Abdou Diallo's WhoScored.com rating of 7.65 is enough to see him partner Abdelmonem at the heart of the defence in the semi-final best XI. The 25-year-old put the Lions of Teranga ahead with 20 minutes to play, netting with his only effort on goal, and was difficult to get the better of as he made four clearances and one interception.
Rounding off the defence is experienced left-back Saliou Ciss. Ciss got forward well and was unfortunate not to register his second assist of the competition having created three goalscoring chances in the 3-1 win over Burkina Faso. In addition, the 32-year-old made two clearances, two interceptions and one tackle to land a WhoScored.com rating of 7.53.
Making his first appearance at AFCON, Mohanad Lasheen came on with five minutes of normal time to play in Egypt's victory over hosts Cameroon. Yet, in that time Lasheen made four tackles - only three players made more in the semi-final clash - and he scored in the shootout to earn a WhoScored.com rating of 7.16.
The sole Burkina Faso representative is their goalscorer in the eventual 3-1 defeat to Senegal. Blati Toure gave the Stallions hope of a comeback when he halved the deficit with eight minutes to play in Yaounde, netting with one of two shots, and while it wasn't to be for Burkina Faso, the 27-year-old did enough to make the WhoScored.com team of the round with a rating of 7.06.
The penultimate Egypt player in the side is Hamdy Fathy, who earned a WhoScored.com rating of 6.94 against Cameroon. Fathy put himself about well, making five tackles and two interceptions, and was effective with the ball as 86.5% of his 52 attempted passes found a teammate.
Featuring on the right flank, Bamba Dieng marked his first AFCON start with his second goal of the tournament, finding a way past Farid Ouedraogo with one of two shots in Senegal's 3-1 win over Burkina Faso. The 21-year-old was unfortunate not to add an assist having made two key passes. Dieng makes the cut with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.24.
Spearheading the attack in the team of the round is the fifth and final Egypt player in the side. Mostafa Mohamed was unable to get on the scoresheet against Cameroon, and mustered just one shot for the Pharaohs before his withdrawal in extra time, but it was his work off the ball that earned him a spot in the best XI. Indeed, Mohamed won six aerial duels and made three tackles and one interception.
Saving the best until last, with a rating of 9.40 Sadio Mane is the WhoScored.com AFCON player of the round. Mane had a direct hand in two of Senegal's three goals against Burkina Faso, following up his assist for Bamba Dieng's strike with a late goal to wrap up the victory. Those came from respective returns of five key passes and three shots, while an additional five successful dribbles saw the Liverpool star return his fourth man of the match award of the competition.
The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in January and February.
The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports showing all 52 games live.
Twenty-four teams will take part, kicking off on January 9 as hosts Cameroon host Burkina Faso in Yaounde, before culminating in the final on February 6 in the capital.