African Team Of The Week

Enyeama, Mane, Echiejile, Mahrez, Iwobi Make African Team Of The Week

The international break will be observed this weekend and early next week. Before jetting into Africa to represent their countries in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the African stars were in action and in good form for their European clubs. Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI presents the players who were exceptional for their clubs over the weekend in league 

GOAL

Vincent Enyeama (Lille, France)

Former Nigerian international Vincent Enyeama was in goal in Lille's 1-0 win against Toulouse on Saturday. Enyeama handled the ball 46 times and was a good organiser of his defence who also distributed well.
 

DEFENCE
 

Elderson Echiejile (Monaco, France)

Nigeria left-back Elderson Echiejile was impressive in AS Monaco's 2-0 away win over French Ligue 1 champions-elect PSG at the Parc de Princes on Sunday night.

Echiejile who is expected to feature in Nigeria's double 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt on Friday and next week Tuesday made two tackles, two interceptions and five clearances on Sunday night

One of PSG's legendary players of yesteryears and former Super Eagles captain, Austin JayJay Okocha, was on the stands to watch Echiejile's side defeat the Parisien billionaires. Echiejile won one aerial duel, made three long balls with two accurate and one cross into the PSG box. Echiejile completed 33 passes (81.8% accurate).

Eric Bailey (Villarreal, Spain)

Elephants of Cote d' Ivoire central defender, Eric Bailey, was fearless at the back in Villarreal's 2-2 home draw against Barcelona at the El Madrigal on Sunday.

Bailey was the only Villarreal defender that was not booked in the game against the dreaded MSN (Messi, Neymar, Suarez) over the weekend. His fellow defenders were all booked. The 2015 African Cup of Nations winner made two tackles,one of them a well-timed effort against Messi as the last man in defence; two interceptions and two clearances

Serge Akakpo (Trabzonspor, Turkey)

Togolese midfielder Serge Akakpo who is adept at playing in central defence was deployed in the latter position and he performed creditably well in his team's 1-0 home win against Sivasspor on Saturday.

Akakpo made one tackle, six interceptions and one clearance last weekend. He was however booked (yellow) in the 79th minute.

 Florentin Pogba (Saint Etienne, France)

Guinea's Floretin Pogba was impressive in Saint Etienne's 3-0 home win against Montpellier on Saturday.

The younger brother of Juventus star, Paul Pogba, who represents France, made two tackles, five interceptions and three clearances in the match. Pogba played eleven long balls into the opposition half, seven of them accurate.

MIDFIELD
Cheick Ndoye (Angers, France)

Senegalese midfielder, Cheick Ndoye, scored one and provided an assist in Angers' 5-1 thumping at home of FC Lorient on Saturday.

The massively-built midfielder assisted Romain Saiss' 39th minute goal and scored his goal in the 81st minute, which is his eighth of the season with nine minutes left on the clock.

Read Also:  Ogu, Echiejile Congratulate Oliseh

Pape Diop ( Espanyol, Spain)
 
Senegalese midfielder Pape Diop was outststanding in Espanyol's 2-1 home win against Athletico Bilbao early Sunday afternoon.

The defensive midfielder scored his team's first goal with a header from a corner kick in the  54th minute after Bilbao had scored first.  For his performance, he was handed the Man-of-the-Match prize. Diop's heatmap shows that he touched the ball 53 times in 90 minutes. He had two shots on target and won two aerials duels.

Diop made two tackles, five interceptions and one clearance.  The defensive midfielder blocked one shot and committed one tackle. He made nine accurate long balls and five through balls. He completed 37 passes (78.4% accurate).

Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor, Turkey)

Former Flying Eagles winger Aminu Umar continued to perform well for his Turkish league side, Osmanlispor, in his club's 3-1 home win against Genclerbirligi at the Osmanli Stadium on Saturday. Aminu Umar netted in the 49th minute and made one key pass. 

The winger  touched the ball 59 times and completed 37 of his passes. The other Nigerian in the game, Raheem Lawal, had a
good game also. He made five key passes in the 84 minutes he was in action.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester, England)

Algerian international Riyad Mahrez scored Leicester City's only goal in their 1-0 away win against Crystal Palace which extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Mahrez' goal in the 34th minute at Selhurst Park was his 16th in 29 league appearances. His heat map shows he made 54 touches of
the ball. Two of his three shots were on target. He completed 24 of his passes which was 70.8% accurate.

Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England)

Nigeria's Alex Iwobi was on target in Arsenal's 2-0 away win against Everton at the Goodison Park on Saturday – his first start in the Premier League for The Gunners.

Iwobi who is in line to play in the Super Eagles' 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt this Friday and next week Tuesday in Alexandria. Iwobi though has played some league and Cup games but mostly from the bench.
 

ATTACK
 

Sadio Mane (Southampton, England)

Senegalese forward Sadio Mane was a halftime substitute in Southampton's 3-2 home win against Liverpool at Saint Mary's Stadium but had a great game upon his introduction.

Mane scored a brace although was also guilty of missing a penalty four minutes after the break. He made two key passes and had three shots on target. He touched the ball 34 times.

Mane scored in the 64th and 86th minutes.  The brace took his tally to five in the Premier League this season.

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