AFCON 2021: Why Gabaski deserved the goalkeeper of the tournament award ahead of Mendy

Edouard Mendy was named the best goalkeeper at AFCON 2021 but here is why Gabaski deserved it more.

Gabaski had a better tournament than Edouard Mendy

Senegal goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy won the award for best goalkeeper of the tournament for the just concluded 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after helping his team to the title.

Mendy kept three clean sheets in five games and was on the winning team so this award should be a no-brainer but it is not on this occasion.

The goalkeeper on the losing end of the final, Egypt’s Gabaski arguably has a better case for the award than the eventual winner.

Gabaski was the reason Egypt kept clean sheets in the semi-final and final against Cameroon and Senegal, he kept the Pharaohs in it with multiple saves and dragged the games to extra time.

Gabaski only played four games and two full games but he made an undeniable impact in each of those games. Starting with his first appearance which was predominantly an extra time display against Ivory Coast and then the penalty shootout in which he was the hero.

In the following game against Morocco, Gabaski saved three of the four shots he faced including a save of the tournament contender.

In the semi-final against Cameroon, Gabaski was Egypt’s highest-rated player and saved all three of Egypt’s shots on target and then went on to save two penalties in the shootout to send Egypt to the final.

In the final, Gabaski saved all eight shots he was tested with by the Senegalese including an early penalty from Sadio Mane in what was a man of the match display. Gabaski pretty much single-handedly took the game to extra time and then to penalties where he saved one out of five kicks.

Gabaski made eight saves in the final alone while Edouard Mendy made seven saves in the whole tournament. The best goalkeeper at this tournament is clear to see, Mohamed Abou Gabal popularly known as Gabaski.

Perhaps the fact that Mendy is the reigning best goalkeeper in the world makes him the more glamorous choice for CAF. Of course, they prefer the Chelsea goalkeeper in his prime as the goalkeeping face of the continent rather than a 33-year old breakout star.

But the truth is that Mendy was not the best goalkeeper at this tournament, he was heavily shielded by the staunch Senegalese defence.

That’s not to say he was not good, he made two outstanding saves in the final as well but the point is Gabaski was the better goalkeeper and should have the award to prove that.

Topics:

More from category

Recommended articles

Solace: Osimhen snub proves CAF need to sort Footballer of the Year criteria

Solace: Osimhen snub proves CAF need to sort Footballer of the Year criteria

Super Eagles star Chidera Ejuke set to leave CSKA Moscow for the Bundesliga

Super Eagles star Chidera Ejuke set to leave CSKA Moscow for the Bundesliga

WAFCON 2021: Profiling Nigeria’s 25-woman squad to Morocco

WAFCON 2021: Profiling Nigeria’s 25-woman squad to Morocco

 'It felt like he was kind of sizing me up'- Jared Cannonier reflects in his first meeting with Israel Adesanya

'It felt like he was kind of sizing me up'- Jared Cannonier reflects in his first meeting with Israel Adesanya

Abigail, Angel Michael and Valour lead Bayelsa State to Milo Basketball Championship clean sweep

Abigail, Angel Michael and Valour lead Bayelsa State to Milo Basketball Championship clean sweep

Israel Adesanya offers ₦1.2 billion to anybody that can prove use of steroids

Israel Adesanya offers ₦1.2 billion to anybody that can prove use of steroids