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AFCON 2021: Revisiting key statistics, records and award winners

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The AFCON 2021 came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday as Senegal overcame Egypt 4-2 via penalties to win their first African Cup of Nations title.

The Senegal national football team entered the final of the 33rd edition, having finished as runners-up to Algeria in AFCON 2019.

The Lions of Teranga have played in three AFCON finals - 2002, 2019, 2021 - and their triumph over seven-time winners Egypt helped them win their first international trophy.

The AFCON 2021 final pitted two Liverpool stars in Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Sadio Mane against each other but it was the Senegalese who had the last laugh after converting the winning spot-kick to win the AFCON title.

Sadio Mane was named as the Player of the Tournament as he captained Senegal to a historic triumph and registered three goals and two assists at AFCON 2021.

Vincent Aboubakar, who plays for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, won the Golden Boot award as he netted eight times in AFCON 2021.

Aboubakar’s record of eight goals was one short of the tournament record set by Zaire's Ndaye Mulamba (9) at AFCON 1974. Aboubakar’s goal tally was also the first time an African footballer scored eight goals at a single tournament since Ivory Coast’s Laurent Pokou at AFCON 1970.

The former Porto forward scored the most goals by a Cameroon international in a single edition of the tournament, going past Samuel Eto’o’s tally of five goals in 2006 and 2008.

Édouard Mendy won the Best Goalkeeper award after he played a crucial role in Senegal’s title-winning run at AFCON 2021. The Chelsea custodian kept three clean sheets in five games.

Senegal, meanwhile, scripted their third straight win over Egypt in 13 meetings. While the Lions of Teranga won the first-ever meeting between the nations at AFCON 1986, it was only from 2014 onwards that Senegal again started getting positive results against the Egyptians.

Between 1987 and 2006, Senegal won just once against Egypt who lead the head-to-head record against the former with six wins, five defeats and two draws in 13 matches.

Who scored the most goals in AFCON 2021?

The Cameroon national football team finished with the most goals in AFCON 2021, scoring 14 goals. The Indomitable Lions registered seven goals in the group stages and four in the knockouts. Cameroon, who won the third-place playoff against Burkina Faso via penalties (5-3), also scored three goals within regulation time in the match.

Champions Senegal scored nine goals in AFCON 2021, with a major chunk of goals coming in the knockout round. While they managed just one goal in three group games, the Sadio Mane-led side scored eight goals in the playoffs, including three goals each in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. 

Country Goals
Cameroon 14
Senegal 9
Morocco 8
Nigeria 6
Ivory Coast 6

Who registered the most assists in AFCON 2021?

Three players are the joint record holder for most assists at AFCON 2021. Burkina Faso’s Issa Kabore, with three assists in seven games, shares the honour with Cameroon duo Collins Faï and Martin Hongla.

Who conceded the least goals in AFCON 2021?

Mali conceded the least goals in AFCON 2021, leaking just one goal in the group stage. They exited the competition in the Round of 16 after suffering a 5-6 defeat to Equatorial Guinea via penalties.

Who has won the AFCON the most times?

Egypt have won the African Cup of Nations a record seven times. After two unsuccessful attempts (2002 and 2019), Aliou Cisse’s Senegal lifted their first AFCON title and became the 16th different team to win the African Cup of Nations.

Teams AFCON titles
Egypt 7
Cameroon 5
Ghana 4
Nigeria 3
Algeria, DR Congo, Ivory Coast 2
Congo, Ethiopia, Morocco, Sudan, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia 1

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD

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