Monday Jun 25, 2018. 13:30
AfricanFootball presents the best continent’s best XI from the second round of group stage matches at the 2018 World Cup.
Francis Uzoho (Nigeria)
An assured showing and a clean sheet against a powerful Iceland side, especially at set pieces, gives Francis Uzoho the goalkeeper berth in our team.
Moussa Wague (Senegal)
The youngest African World Cup goal scorer, Wague’s drive and energy down the right flank helped Senegal secure a crucial point in their battle to reach the last 16.
Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria)
The inclusion of Kenneth Omeruo and the switch to a back three worked wonders for Nigeria, who held off Iceland and claimed a 2-0 win to revive their hopes of advancing from Group D.
Leon Balogun (Nigeria)
Leon Balogun struggled to assert himself in Nigeria’s opening game against Croatia, but against Iceland he stood firm at the back and helped the Super Eagles keep an important clean sheet.
Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal)
The other Senegalese full-back will take the left slot on out defence, having put in a strong showing in the Teranga Lions’ exciting 2-2 draw with Japan.
John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)
Asked to play a more defensive role against Iceland, John Obi Mikel returned as a force to the World Cup and, alongside Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, helped Nigeria enjoy the midfielder dominance.
Idrissa Gueye (Senegal)
Another strong showing from Senegal’s hard-running defensive midfielder, who arguably should have been included in our first-round XI. He makes the nod this time and will hope to guide his side into the last 16.
Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)
Morocco may be out of the tournament after a second successive defeat, but Hakim Ziyech could hold his head high after the loss to Portugal, having been the fulcrum of an otherwise dominant showing from the Atlas Lions.
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)
Tunisia may have been awful against Belgium, but Wahbi Khazri was at least a shining light for the Carthage Eagles, and we can’t leave him out after he secured both an assist and a goal against the Red Devils.
Ahmed Musa (Nigeria)
Two beautifully taken goals to make World Cup history for Nigeria ensured that Ahmed Musa was the first name on this list. If he can repeat that form against Argentina, then the Super Eagles will advance into the last 16.
Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Another selfless showing from Senegal’s super star attacker, Sadio Mane remains their talismanic attacking figure and his World Cup may just take off after claiming his first goal.