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Billiat among Afcon cream


Warriors striker Khama billiat has been picked in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations team of the tournament by British newspaper DailyMail.

BY Kevin Mapasure

Khama Billiat
Khama Billiat

Billiat was picked ahead of some of the superstars at the tournament such as Gabon captain, Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang as well as Liverpool’s Senegalese star, Sadio Mane.

While Billiat did not make it into SportsMail’s Jonny Singer’s first eleven, he did get a place on the substitutes list.

Last month, Singer also suggested that Billiat was one of the players he thought had the attributes to play in the English Premier League.

Yesterday, he sang Billiat’s praises again, picking him among the best 18 players at the 16-team tournament, which was won by Cameroon on Sunday after defeating Egypt.

Christain Bassogog is Singer’s best player of the tournament while Senegal mentor, Aliou Cisse is his Coach of the Tournament.

In the team category, the biggest disappointment was Ivory Coast, who arrived as the cup holders and favourites, but failed to reach the quarter-finals.

Aubameyang was named as the biggest individual disappointment at a tournament, as he failed to lead his team into the last eight, despite his two goals, one of which was from the penalty spot.

Cameroon goalkeeper, Fabrice Ondoa takes the number one spot for SportsMail, while Harrison Afful of Ghana won a place in defence.

Burkina Faso, who lost to Egypt in the semi-finals, have three players in the first eleven with Bakary Kone, Yacouba Coulibaly and midfielder Charles Kabore.

Riyad Mahrez, who scored two goals for Algeria at the tournament, is not on the list, while Youssef Msakni of Tunisia was named in the reserves together with Billiat.

Balde Keita, who is also among the substitutes, is the only Senegalese on the list, while Ivory Coast do not have a single player.

Five of the 18 players that Singer picked are from Cameroon, while Egypt contributed two players, who include Mohammad Salah.

With Zimbabwe having only picked up just one point to finish bottom of their group, it shows how Billiat made a huge impression at the tournament.

While he has been receiving rave reviews, he is curiously still stuck in Africa with no firm offers coming from Europe for his services.

The Mamelodi Sundowns star had targeted this tournament as a stepping stone to the biggest leagues in Europe.

Team of the tournament

Ondoa (Cameroon); Afful (Ghana), Hegazy (Egypt), Kone (Burkina Faso), Coulibaly (Burkina Faso); Siani (Cameroon), Kabore (Burkina Faso); Bassogog (Cameroon), Salah (Egypt), Bouanga (Gabon); Kabananga (DR Congo)

Subs: El-Hadary (Egypt), Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Cameroon), Fai (Cameroon), Billiat (Zimbabwe), Keita (Senegal), Atsu (Ghana), Msakni (Tunisia)

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