The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) began on January 13, 2024, in the Ivory Coast with 24 national teams ready to push hard for continental glory.
We have witnessed lively and incredible scenes in the tournament where nations traditionally perceived to be the continental giants tumbled down by the wayside.
Morocco went to Ivory Coast as one of the pre-tournament favorites following their incredible run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2022 but were knocked out of the tournament by South Africa in the Round of 16.
AFCON defending champions Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, and Algeria are also among the top teams who surprisingly exited the tournament.
Nigeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and DR Congo are now left as the tournament enters the semi-final stage, and it’ll be interesting to see which of these teams makes the finals.
Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar is the current holder of the Golden Boot thanks to his eight goals during the tournament.
Vincent Aboubakar’s eight goals at AFCON 2021 made him become the second-most at a single Africa Cup of Nations in the tournament’s history scoring eight goals in the competition.
Players in the AFCON Golden Boot Race
Emilio Nsue (5)
Despite exiting the tournament, Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue leads the chase for the coveted golden boot in the 2023 AFCON with five goals.
The 34-year-old grabbed the first hattrick of the tournament in Cote d’Ivoire leading his nation to a 4-2 win against Guinea.
Emilio Nsue also scored twice as Equatorial Guinea beat Cote’d Ivoire 4-0 to leave the host nation on the verge of elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations in the last group stage match.
The right back, who also plays as a midfielder, plays for Spanish third tier team, Intercity FC.
Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed (4)
Mostafa Mohamed has a total of four goals. He scored the fastest goal in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations when Egypt took the lead against Mozambique at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Ivory Coast on Sunday, January 13.
Mohamed scored in all three Group B games as Egypt scraped 2-2 draws with Mozambique, Ghana and Cape Verde to advance as runners-up with an unconvincing tally of three points.
This made Mohamed the first Egyptian to score in three pool stage matches since all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan did it in 2000.
Gelson Dala (Angola)- 4
Gelson Dala scored twice as Angola beat Mauritania 3-2 to close in on the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Angola forward scored twice as Angola shrugged off the early dismissal of goalkeeper Neblu to beat 10-man Namibia 3-0 and reached the quarterfinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
He plays for Qatar Star League Al Wakara.
Also Read: Full List of Teams Knocked Out of AFCON Campaign
Ademola Lookman(Nigeria)- 3
Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman follows with three goals. Lookman is the only player in the 2023 AFCON top scorer list whose country is still in the tournament.
Ademola Lookman scored two goals for Nigeria as they breezed past rivals Cameroon to reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals in the Round of 16.
Algeria’s Baghdad Bounedjah, Guinea’s Mohammed Bayo, Mali’s Sinayoko and Angola’s Mabululu Paciência also have three goals each.
Other AFCON 2024 Statistics
Total number of Goals Scored so far are 113, 148 yellow cards and 12 red cards.
Jose Machin is the player with the most assists– 3 assists (Equatorial Guinea). Other player with three assists includes, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou(Cameroon). Fredy (Angola)and Sadio Mane (Senegal).
Stanley Nwabali (Nigeria) and Ronwen William (South Africa) are the goalkeepers with the highest number of clean sheets(four).
During the semi-final matches Nigeria will lock horns with South Africa at 5pm GMT while Ivory Coast will face DR Congo/Guinea – 8pm GMT on Wednesday, February 7.
The final match will be played on Sunday, February 11 at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.