African Football HQ Team of the Week #1: Choupo-Moting and Bono heroics in Europe

We are beginning a new series on African Football HQ. We will publish a weekly best XI of African players in competitions around the world. 

The squad included players from nine countries, playing in eight different competitions. 

The team is lined up in a 3-4-3.

GK: Yassine Bono (SevillaMorocco)

Bono was an easy choice. He made six saves as Sevilla beat Manchester United to advance to the UEFA Europa League Final. Manchester United belted 20 shots at his goal, and was only beat by a Bruno Fernandes penalty. The week before he was just as crucial as he saved a penalty and kept a clean sheet against Wolves.

DF: Larrys Mabiala (Portland Timbers – DR Congo)

Former PSG defender Larrys Mabiala scored the opener for the Portland Timbers in the final of the MLS is Back tournament. His side won 2-1 over Orlando City to lift the trophy. 

Portland Timbers lifted the MLS is Back Tournament Trophy

DF: Abbubaker Mobara (Cape Town City – South Africa)

The 26-year-old was instrumental to two victories for Cape Town City in the PSL return as he kept a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Chippa United and defeated second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2.

DF: Clinton Mata (Club BruggeAngola)

Mata’s Club Brugge returned to winning ways in the Belgian Pro League as the defending champions defeated KAS Eupen 4-0. The versatile Angolan defender played the full match.

MF: Mubarak Wakaso (Jiangsu Suning – Ghana)

30-year-old Ghanaian midfielder Mubarak Wakaso had to wait seven months to play for Jiangsu Suning after joining the Chinese Super League side in January. He has had a good start, fitting in well to a new role: Central Midfielder. The winger who appeared for the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup is averaging a stunning two tackles per game in his four games with Suning. 

MF: Willard Katsande (Kaizer ChiefsZimbabwe

Central midfielder Willard Katsande was one of three players to come on at half time for Chiefs at halftime losing 1-0 to Polokwane City. Polokwane scored again before Katsande scored a header to spark a comeback. Chiefs eventually won 3-2 to secure their grip on first place in the PSL. 

 LM: Percy Tau (AnderlechtSouth Africa)

Brighton loanee Percy Tau came on as a substitute and scored a beautiful chip goal on his debut in the 93rd minute to add insult to injury as Anderlecht defeated Sint-Truidense. 

RM: Surprise Ralani (Cape Town City – South Africa)

Bradley “Surprise” Ralani joins his teammate Abbubaker Mobara in the team of the week after Cape Town City’s performances this past week. The 32-year-old scored a brace against Sundowns. He had three goals throughout the entire season up to that match, so it was an incredibly special feat for him to score twice in a match against a side like Sundonws. 

FW: Eric Choupo-Moting (PSGCameroon)

Choupo-Moting’s time with PSG has been joked about by many considering the Cameroonian plays behind Neymar, Mbappe, Icardi, Di Maria and more players in the forward spot. The former Stoke player hadn’t scored a league goal since January, but when PSG were most desperate, losing 1-0 to Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Choupo-Moting had a historic performance.

He came on for Icardi in the 79th minute. In the 90th minute, with one of his first touches of the match, he played an excellent cross into the box to Neymar who squared it to Marquinhos for the goal to tie it up. PSG continued the pressure and with one of the final plays of the game, Mbappe squared it to Moting who scored the winner and sent Parisians into euphoria. 

FW: Abdallah El Said (PyramidsEgypt)

Abdallah El Said had a night to remember. After being honored by the EFA for scoring his 100th career goal in the Egyptian Premier League, Pyramids playmaker scored a hat-trick against Tanta. It is worth noting that two of these goals were penalties.

FW: Baghdad Bounedjah (Al-SaddAlgeria)

Prolific Algerian striker returned to his scoring ways for Al-Sadd in the Qatar Stars League. Having not scored since January, the 28-year-old scored in the 98th minute for Xavi’s side to defeat Qatar SC 1-0.