U17 AFCON: Yahaya Lawali Makes CAF Group Phase Best XI

Golden Eagles defender, Yahaya Lawali has been named by CAF’s Technical Study Group (TSG) in its Best XI of the group stages at the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The tournament enters semi-final phase on Sunday with Mali, Senegal, Morocco and Burkina Faso searching for a place in the final.

The final will be played on Friday 19 May 2023 at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers at 22h00 local time (21h00 GMT).

Two-time champions Mali have three players in the Best XI following their impressive run in the tournament so far.

Senegalese tactician Saliou Dia Serigne has been named the best coach, having led his side to the semis for the first time ever with an unbeaten record, while his skipper and tournament top scorer Amara Diouf has been named the best player of the group phase.

Diouf has scored five goals so far, breaking Victor Osimhen’s 2015 goal scoring record of four goals.

Mali’s Bourama Kone, having kept three clean sheets so far in the competition, is selected as the best goalkeeper He has the highest save percentage rate in the competition thus far.

His defence is made up of Nigeria’s right back Yahaya Lawali, who was twice named man of the match in the group stages. Burkina Faso’s Lassina Traore has been selected as the best left back so far in the competition.

Senegal’s Fallou Diouf, part of a backline that has not conceded a single goal in the tournament so far, and Morocco’s skipper Abdelhamid Ait Boudlal have been named as the best two centre backs.

Morocco’s anchorman Adam Chakir has been crucial for the Atlas Cubs so far in the competition, dictating the tempo and sits at the basement of the Best XI’s midfield.

Mali’s Angel Martial Tia, scorer of the opening goal against Congo in the quarters as well as one half of the Wumba Niati Congolese twins, Abiga, make the midfield three.

Senegal skipper Diouf, Burkina Faso’s Souleymane Alio and Mali’s Mamadou Doumbia complete the front three. Doumbia has scored three goals so far in the tournament while Alio has two.

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