Vice-captain of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets Yahaya Lawali has been named in the Best XI of the group stage of the competition according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), www.aclsports.com reports.
As Nigerians continue to reel after the painful exit of the Golden Eaglets from the competition, the exploits of the young right back did however not go unnoticed by CAF’s Technical Study Group.
In the Best XI released on Saturday, Yahaya Lawali was the only Eaglets star that made it to the list of the eleven distinguished teenagers with two-time champions Mali having three players in the Best XI following their impressive run in the tournament so far.
Senegalese tactician Saliou Dia Serigne was named the best coach, having led his side to the semis for the first time ever with an unbeaten record, while his skipper and tournament top scorer Amara Diouf was named the best player of the group phase.
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Diouf has scored five goals so far, breaking Victor Osimhen’s 2015 goal scoring record of four goals.
Mali’s Bourama Kone, having kept three clean sheets so far in the competition, is selected as the best goalkeeper He has the highest save percentage rate in the competition thus far.
His defence is made up of Lawali, who was twice named man of the match in the group stages. Burkina Faso’s Lassina Traore was selected as the best left back so far in the competition.
Senegal’s Fallou Diouf, part of a backline that has not conceded a single goal in the tournament so far, and Morocco’s skipper Abdelhamid Ait Boudlal were named as the best two centre backs.
Morocco’s anchorman Adam Chakir has been crucial for the Atlas Cubs so far in the competition, dictating the tempo and sits at the basement of the Best XI’s midfield with Mali’s Angel Martial Tia, scorer of the opening goal against Congo in the quarters as well as one half of the Wumba Niati Congolese twins, Abiga, completing the midfield three.
Senegal skipper Diouf, Burkina Faso’s Souleymane Alio and Mali’s Mamadou Doumbia complete the front three. Doumbia has scored three goals so far in the tournament while Alio has two goals.
It will be recalled that Yahaya Lawali, a product of Mahanaim Football Club of Abuja was also named in the Best XI at the WAFU B U17 tournament held in Ghana last year, a tournament Nigeria won.