Goals have been hard to come by in the opening week of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament currently underway in Gabon. As we begin the second week, a lot more is expected although it is looking increasingly unlikely that anyone will break the goal-scoring records set by some legends before. Lynette Matheka explains.
1. Samuel Eto’o Fils: (Cameroon, 18 Goals)
Eto’o is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), with 18 goals that he achieved in six tournaments. The first four of his 18 came in the 2000 edition of the competition when he was the second highest scorer.
He would score a goal each in the 2002 and 2004 editions before topping the charts with five apiece in the 2006 and 2008 tournaments. He scored two more in 2010.
2. Laurent Pokou: (Côte d’Ivoire, 14 Goals)
His goals were achieved in a record two tournaments as he was twice the highest goal scorer, netting six in the 1968 tournament in Ethiopia and eight in the 1970 edition in Sudan.
In Sudan, Pokou scored a record five goals in one match against Ethiopia, which Côte d’Ivoire won 6-1, earning the nickname L’homme d’Asmara (the man of Asmara).
3. Rashidi Yekini: (Nigeria, 13 Goals)
Now deceased, Yekini helped the Super Eagles win the 1994 tournament in Tunisia where he topped the goal-scoring charts with five goals and was named the best player of the competition.
His first Afcon goal was, however, scored in the 1988 edition before being the second highest scorer two years later with three goals. He was also the top scorer in the 1992 edition, netting four.
4. Hassan El-Shazly: (Egypt, 12 Goals)
He was Afcon’s top scorer in 1963 with six goals and was named the best player of the competition, becoming the top Egyptian scorer too.
It took Shazly another seven years to register a goal as his next record is in 1970 where he came in second, netting five goals. His last and 12th goal was during the 1974 edition where they were hosts.
5. Didier Drogba: (Ivory Coast, 11 Goals)
Drogba scored three in his first year as captain in 2006. In 2008, the two-time African Footballer Of The Year scored three goals before adding one in 2010. In 2012, he registered his name on he scoresheet thrice and netted one more in his final tournament in 2013.
6. Patrick M’boma: (Cameroon, 11 Goals)
He achieved his haul in a record three tournaments. After first being capped for Cameroon in 1995, he led his team to victories at the 2000 and 2002 editions, scoring four and three goals respectively, being the top scorer in the 2002 edition.
During the 2004 edition, he netted four goals. He was renowned for scoring long-distance goals with his powerful left foot.
7. Hossam Hassan: (Egypt, 11 Goals)
Hassan participated in seven Afcon tournaments, his last in 2006 where, aged 40, he captained his team, played three times and netted once for the hosts.
He was Afcon’s top scorer in 1998 with seven goals before scoring three two years later. He was named the best African footballer in the last 50 years by CAF.
8. Mengistu Worku: (Ethiopia, 10 Goals)
He began his international career in 1958 and registered his first Afcon goals in 1962, scoring three. One of the three was the team’s fourth in the finals, during extra time, where the team claimed victory over Egypt.
The following year, he scored two before repeating the same feat in the 1968 edition. During their 1970 disappointing run, where they finished bottom of their group, he still managed three, his country’s only goals in that tournament.
9. Kalusha Bwalya: (Zambia, 10 Goals)
Nicknamed “The King Kalu,” he participated in six Afcon tournaments, jointly winning the Golden Boot Award in 1996. In the remaining five editions that he took part in, he scored a goal each.
Bwalya escaped the fatal plane crash that wiped the entire team and management in 1993 as he was not on the plane into the Atlantic Ocean off Gabon.
10. Ndaye Mulamba: (Belgian Congo, 10 Goals)
In 1974, he played for Zaire (now DRC) in the Afcon hosted in Egypt where he scored all the nine goals for his team, which is still a record, propelling his team to victory.
He was the best player of the match and was awarded the National Order of the Leopard by the then President Mobutu Sese Seko. The other goal was scored during the 1976 edition.