The Technical Study Group (TSG) of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled its Best XI of the group stages in the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations, recognizing the standout performers of the tournament’s initial phase, Soccernet.ng reports.
As the competition enters the semifinals stage, Mali, Senegal, Morocco, and Burkina Faso remain in the hunt for a spot in the final.
Golden Eaglets fullback Yahaya Lawali stands out as the only Nigerian representative in the best eleven team.
The right-back caught the attention of the TSG after earning the man-of-the-match title twice during the group stages for his exceptional performances.
The excellent teen defender could, however, not help Nigeria avoid a quarterfinal defeat to Burkina Faso.
Two-time champions Mali dominate the Best XI with three players, reflecting their impressive run in the tournament so far.
Senegal’s coach, Saliou Dia Serigne, receives recognition as the best coach for guiding his team to the semifinals with an unbeaten record.
His captain, Amara Diouf, secures the title of the best player of the group phase after topping the scoring charts with five goals, surpassing Victor Osimhen’s previous record.
Completing the defensive line, Mali’s Bourama Kone, having kept three clean sheets, earns the best goalkeeper distinction.
Joining Lawali in the backline are Burkina Faso’s Lassina Traore, named the best left back, and Senegal’s Fallou Diouf, part of a resolute defense that has yet to concede a goal. Morocco’s Abdelhamid Ait Boudlal partners with Diouf as the best two center-backs.
In midfield, Morocco’s Adam Chakir assumes the anchorman role, orchestrating play with his ability to dictate the tempo. Mali’s Angel Martial Tia, known for his crucial goal in the quarterfinals against Congo, and the Congolese twins Abiga complete the midfield trio.
The attacking triumvirate consists of Senegal’s captain, Diouf, Burkina Faso’s Souleymane Alio, and Mali’s Mamadou Doumbia. Doumbia has found the net three times in the tournament, while Alio has contributed two goals to their respective teams’ success.