Our team of the tournament


Another tournament, another team of heroes. Here is the Africansportonline team of the 2015 African Cup of Nations, as selected by our editor Tunde Coker.

You'll find that we've left out the official tournament MVP Christian Atsu because it's an award that we were more than just a little surprised that he was given.

We are playing four four two so here goes

Goalkeeper

Felipe Ovono (Equatorial Guinea)

Ovono quickly became a cult hero for the home fans, who roared with delight every time he swept out of his goal to collect a cross, or dived full-

stretch to punch a shot away.

The 21-year-old Ovono plays semi-professional football for Equatorial Guinea's Deportivo Mongomo and has never played for a team outside the country, but he must be destined now for a bigger club.

Unknown before the tournament kicked off, Ovono was consistently superb and a key factor in Equatorial Guinea punching above their weight to reach the semi-finals.

Defence

Serge Aurier (PSG and Ivory Coast)
There were much bigger names in the Ivorian team like reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure, but no one contributed more than Aurier as he attacked and defended on the right flank.

Kolo Toure (Liverpool and Ivory Coast)
Ivory Coast have long been plagued by issues at the back and a big part of the solution was a move to a back three. The recalled veteran Toure (above) was playing in his last international tournament and was reborn playing in a back three. It's a formation he has had some practise with at club level, but this was alongside two inexperienced centre backs in 20-year-old Eric Bertrand Bailly and 21-year-old Wilfried Kanon. Neither Bailly nor fellow central defender Wilfried Kanon played a part in the qualifiers, only making their debuts in a pre-tournament friendly against Nigeria.

Jonathan Mensah (Evian and Ghana)
Came of age in national colours at last. His organisation gave Ghana one of the meanest defences in the tournament. If you want to see how good he was, watch Ghana against Algeria.

Baba Rahman (Augsburg and Ghana)
Baba Rahman will be disappointed by the result in the final which saw his Ghana side lose on penalties to Cote d’Ivoire. At least he showed why scouts from Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Roma are said to be watching the Augsburg defender.

He defended well, attacked well, and made a couple of telling passes. His his most telling moment came just before half-time when Rahman recovered brilliantly to dispossess a speeding Gervinho before striding clear with the ball. It was one of those instants which encapsulates a player’s breadth of quality.


Midfield

Andre Ayew
After underperforming at several Cup of Nations, the son of legendary three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi 'Pele' Ayew came good in Equatorial Guinea with consistently superb midfield performances.

Ayew was the stand-out Ghanaian player at this tournament. The Olympique Marseille player, who was used as a winger or second striker, captained the side in Asamoah Gyan's absence and led by example.


Rainford Kalaba (Mazembe and Zambia)
Zambia's captain but could do nothing as the 2012 champions Zambia crashed out in the first round. His personal stock rose though as he picked up  two man-of-the-match awards in three games. The blunted edge of the Zambian attack is no reflection on their skipper.

Serey Die (Ivory Coast)
The team needs a defensive shield and Serey Die was the unsung hero of the champions. Die harried, fouled and hassled opponents into errors. The sight of Algerian star Yacine Brahimi screaming in frustration marked all that Die stood for in this tournament.

Ibrahima Traore (Borusia Monchengladbach and Guinea)
The driving force behind Guinea's slightly fortunate run to the quarters. Skipper Traore has been highly-rated as a player for some years, but he's added the responsibility of the captaincy now and is leading by example, scoring once in Equatorial Guinea and setting up chances for his teammates with his whipped left-foot crosses. Oozed pace and trickery and his stock soared during the tournament. His low, snap shot into the corner against Cameroon was among the best goals of the tournament.

Strikers

Ahmed Akaichi (Konyaspor and Tunisia)
A late call-up for the North Africans, he ended the tournament with three goals. Easily the most potent and consistent goal threat of the Carthage Eagles, his exploits earned him a move from Esperance to Konyaspor in Turkey.

Thievy Bifouma (Almeria and Congo)
Born in France, 22-year-old Bifouma only made his debut for Republic of Congo in last year's African Cup qualifiers. His three goals in four games at his first major tournament helped the Congolese enjoy their best showing at the continental championship in over 40 years.

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