AFCON Watch: How have Leicester City's African contingent started?

AFCON Watch: How have Leicester City's African contingent started?

With the first round of matches of the Africa Cup of Nations over for Leicester City's three absentees, how have they been getting on over in Gabon?

daniel-orme
Daniel Orme

With the African Cup of Nations 2017 in Gabon under-way, Leicester City have had to release three key players for participation in the tournament.

Algerian pair Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani have both departed the East Midlands, whilst midfielder Daniel Amartey is away representing Ghana.

How did the three of them get on in the first round of matches since they left for the tournament?

Algeria - Zimbabwe

Opening their campaign in Group B against minnows Zimbabwe, most Algeria supporters were hoping to kick-off with a relatively easy three points. Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez both started the game.

Opening the scoring thanks to Foxes' wide-man Mahrez in the 12th minute of the game, the Greens looked well on their way. Latching onto a Slimani knock-down, the 25-year old drove down the right wing. The PFA Player of the Year then cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a curling shot into the far corner to edge his side ahead.

However, George Leekens' side surprisingly fell behind with a quick-fire strike from Kudakwashe Mahachi and a Nyasha Mushekwi penalty in the closing stages of the first half.

Nonetheless, Mahrez secured a point for the aptly named Desert Foxes with a strike from outside the box in the 82nd minute. As a matter of fact, the former Le Havre man wrote his name into the Leicester City history books as he became the Foxes' highest international scorer with eight strikes.

Algeria next come up against Tunisia on the 19th of January.

Mahrez scored a brilliant brace to earn a point for Algeria | Photo: Getty/ Farouk Batiche
Mahrez scored a brilliant brace to earn a point for Algeria | Photo: Getty/ Farouk Batiche

Ghana - Uganda

One of the favourites for the tournament, Ghana began their pursuit of their fifth AFCON title with a clash against Uganda.

Leicester City midfielder Daniel Amartey slotted in at centre-back for the Black Stars and impressed as the team kept a clean sheet. In fact, it got even better for Avram Grant's troops as a goal from West Ham United's Andre Ayew from the penalty spot ensured the 2017 campaign got off to the perfect start.

Amartey will hope to carry on this success as his team as they clash with Mali on Saturday 21st January.

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