Four Players Whose Stock Rose After Round Two of AFCON

Selim Amallah Morocco

The action continues to pick up at the African Cup of Nations, with new stars emerging every match. Several of Africa’s top teams were unable to find victories, with Ghana, Algeria, and Senegal among the teams who failed to find wins the second match day. This saw some of the players with the highest rise in stock come from less fashionable nations, with the likes of Malawi having players impress. But who are the players who had their stock rise after the second round of fixtures?

Note: If you didn’t read round one’s list, here it is.

Ernest Kakhobwe, GK, Malawi

Ernest Kakhobwe was huge for Malawi in a surprise 2-1 victory over Zimbabwe, finishing with four saves (an 80% save percentage). This takes the 28-year old goalkeeper’s save total for the tournament to seven and his save percentage to an impressive 77.8%. This performance leaves Malawi in third place heading into the final round but in good position to make the knockouts – where they’ve never made it before.

Kakhobwe currently plays in his native Malawi with Nyasa Big Bullets FC, the third club he has played for, all of whom are in Malawi.

Baba Rahman, LB, Ghana

Baba Rahman played an important role in helping the Ghanaians snatch a point from a match where they were arguably outperformed by a strong Gabon side in a 1-1 draw. Rahman finished with three interceptions and won two tackles as well as earned a foul, continuing his strong performances this tournament (five total tackles and five interceptions).

Rahman has struggled at club level with Chelsea’s infamous loan strategy – he’s currently on his sixth loan spell, now with Reading after previous loans to Germany, France, Greece, and Spain. He’s never managed to break into the first team but a good tournament could earn him a permanent deal.

Selim Amallah, CM, Morocco

Belgian-born Selim Amallah starred for Morocco, scoring the winning goal and assisting the other as Morocco beat Comoros 2-0. This just the fourth goal of Amallah’s international career, but what a stage to get it on. The 25-year old also played a defensive role, finishing with a tackle and an interception.

Amallah has spent his entire playing career in Belgium, impressing for top clubs including Anderlecht and now Standard Liége, where he still plays. However, that could change in the future as he has reportedly received interest from Turkey, and, in the past, Newcastle United. He’s a player to watch as the tournament continues.

Gabadinho Mhango, LW, Malawi

Gabadinho Mhango was arguably the reason Malawi upset Zimbabwe: the winger scored two goals in a span of fifteen minutes to lead his side to a comeback win. No other Malawian has scored at this tournament so far, meaning Mhango carries the bulk of the offense.

Able to play anywhere on offense, 29-year old Mhango mainly functions as a center forward for South African side Orlando Pirates. Since joining the side in 2019, Mhango has scored 23 goals, finishing as the South African Premiership top scorer in 2019, and winning the MTN8 Cup in 2021. With previous club Bidvest Wits FC, he also won the league and cup. He could be searching for a new challenge now.

The craziness of the African Cup of Nations is now on full display: Malawi’s Mhango, whom many English Premier League fans have likely never heard of, has more goals this tournament than Premier League stars Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Riyad Mahrez. New players are stealing the headlines every day in a tournament like no other.

Who do you think will be star round three? Let me know in the comments!

Image courtesy of V4nco, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Don’t worry if your comment does not show up, all comments must be approved to reduce spam. I hope you enjoyed, and as always, keep watching soccer!