African players in Europe: Mahrez eyes CAN after City treble
Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez hopes he can continue a successful streak by helping Algeria win the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) in Egypt during July.
The 28-year-old started in the FA Cup final at the weekend as City completed an English treble by trouncing Watford 6-0 after winning the Premier League and League Cup.
“It is 29 years since Algeria won the Cup of Nations and I want to be part of the team that repeats that feat,” he said after collecting his third winners’ medal of the season.
RIYAD MAHREZ (Manchester City)
He played 55 minutes of the FA Cup final at Wembley and gave a solid performance before being replaced by Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne. Mahrez scored 12 goals this season for City in 44 appearances across all competitions.
MUBARAK WAKASO (Alaves)
Wakaso’s thundering volley helped Alaves beat Girona 2-1, a victory that confirmed their opponents’ relegation from La Liga. Wakaso scored his first goal of the season on its final weekend, the Ghanaian’s drive shortly before half-time teeing up a win that saw Alaves finish 11th.
AFRIYIE ACQUAH (Empoli)/OLA AINA (Torino)
Ghanaian midfielder Acquah scored the opening goal that sparked a stunning 4-1 Serie A win for struggling Empoli over Torino. He pounced on an error by on-loan Chelsea and Nigeria defender Aina to finish off on 27 minutes. The triumph pulled Empoli out of the relegation zone going into the final round of league matches while defeat ended Torino’s slim hopes of European football next season.
ISHAK BELFODIL (Hoffenheim)
The Algerian forward crowned a successful season with his 16th goal to give Hoffenheim an early lead over Mainz. However, the afternoon ended in disappointment as Mainz fought back to win 4-2 and shatter Hoffenheim’s hopes of Europa League qualification.
IBRAHIMA TRAORE (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
The Guinea international hit the bar early in the first half as his side failed to take their chances in a 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, which saw Gladbach miss out on Champions League qualification as Bayer Leverkusen won 5-1 at Hertha Berlin to claim fourth spot.
IHLAS BEBOU (Hanover)
The Togolese striker played his final game for relegated Hanover after the announcement that he would move to Hoffenheim next season. Hanover lost 2-1 to Fortuna Duesseldorf as they bid goodbye to the Bundesliga for at least 12 months.
KALIFA COULIBALY (Nantes)
Mali striker Coulibaly scored in the 24th minute in the 1-1 draw at Montpellier to take his Ligue 1 tally to 12 goals in all competitions this season as Nantes consolidated their mid-table position with one match to play. His scoring record will not have gone unnoticed at home ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which gets underway on June 21 in Egypt.
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