Ighalo, Others Win Prestigious Awards As Algeria Rules Africa’s Football

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Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo emerged the golden boot winner as the top goalscorer of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 in Egypt.

According to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the China-based forward netted five goals, helping the Super Eagles to claim the bronze medal for a record 8th time in the tournament’s history.

A performance that also saw Ighalo becomes the sixth Nigerian after the likes of Segun Odegbami, Rasheed Yekini, Julius Aghaowa, Jay-Jay Okocha and Emmanuel Emenike to win the prize.

A breakdown of Ighalo’s goals at AFCON 2019 showed that he netted one goal against Burundi in the group stage, twice against Cameroon in the quarterfinal, and one goal each against Algeria and Tunisia in the semifinal and third-place matches respectively.

Other award winners after Desert Foxes claimed their second AFCON title since 1990 include Algeria goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi, who was named man-of- the-match in the final after his fifth clean sheet at AFCON 2019, even as he pocketed $10,000 as prize money.

Equally, his teammate Ismael Bennacer was named player- of-the-Tournament, while the fair play award went to runners-up Senegal’s Teranga Lions.

Baghdad Bounedjah netted the only goal of the match after two minutes to deny Sadio Mane’s Senegal a victory dance after 90 minutes.

Teranga Lions made two changes in their starting XI from the team that defeated Tunisia in the semi-finals, with Salif Sane replacing suspended Napoli star defence ace Kalidou Koulibaly, in the heart of Senegal defence alongside Ismaila Sarr.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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