Тop Six Teams in AFCON History

The CAF Africa Cup of Nations, officially Coupe d’Afrique des Nations or AFCON is the top football competition of the African national teams, lets celebrate AFCON history with a look at the all-time top six teams.

Dating back to 1957 when the first tournament was held with only three participants, AFCON has developed into a major tournament gathering the top 24 African nations.

Since 1968 the tournament has been held every two years and since 2013 it switched to odd-numbered years in order not to clash with the FIFA World Cup.

Fourteen nations have won the previous 32 tournaments. In this article, we have a look at the six most successful nations in AFCON history.

1. Egypt

Egypt is the most successful nation in the tournament’s history. The Pharaohs have won 7 trophies at the Africa Cup of Nations including the one from 1959 when Egypt was united with Syria as the United Arab Republic. They have finished as runner-ups on one occasion and three times have been third.

Egypt is the only team that has won three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations trophies.

Egypt won the first AFCON in 1957 playing only two games. They defeated Sudan 2-1 in the semi-finals and Ethiopia 4-0 in the finals.

Two years later as the United Arab Republic they defeated Sudan 2-1 in the finals.

After winning back-to-back titles, the Pharaohs had to wait 27 years for the next one. In 1986, as a home nation, Egypt defeated Cameroon in the final after a penalty shootout.

In 1998, Egypt defeated South Africa 2-0 in the finals.

The best era of Egyptian football began in the mid-2000s. Egypt went on to win three consecutive AFCON titles. In 2006, on home soil, they defeated the Ivory Coast in a penalty shootout. Two years later, they were better than Cameroon winning 1-0 in the finals and the same score was on the board in 2010 when Egypt defeated Ghana in the finals.

Egypt was the host of the last tournament in 2019. They were eliminated in Round 16 losing 1-0 to South Africa.

Hassan El-Shazly is Egypt’s top scorer in the AFCON tournaments with 12 goals.

2. Cameroon

The 2022 AFCON home nation has won the AFCON five times, twice have finished as runner-up and once finished third. All of Cameroon’s five trophies were won in the last 18 tournaments.

Cameroon won their first AFCON title in 1984 after a 3-1 final victory against Nigeria.

After a final loss in 1986, Cameroon win again in 1988. The Indomitable Lions defeated Nigeria once again in the finals, this time by 1-0.

In 2000 and 2002, Cameroon won back-to-back AFCON tournaments. Once again Nigeria was the victim in the 2000 finals, this time after a penalty shootout. Two years later, Cameroon won another title in the penalty roulette, this time against Senegal.

Cameroon’s last AFCON trophy came in 2017 after a 2-1 finals victory over Egypt.

In the last tournament in 2019, Cameroon lost 302 in Round 16 to Nigeria.

Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o is the best scorer in AFCON history with 18 goals.

3. Ghana

Ghana has won four AFCON tournaments, twice as a home nation with the last one being almost 40 years ago. They have lost five times in the finals and once have finished third.

The Black Stars won their first trophy on home ground in 1963 defeating Sudan 3-0 in the final match.

Ghana defended the trophy in the following tournament after a 3-2 extra-time win over Tunisia in the finals.

In 1978, Ghana won their third title after a 2-0 win over Uganda in the finals and four years later they went on top again with a penalty shootout win over the host nation Libya.

In 2019, Ghana lost to Tunisia on penalties in Round 16.

André Ayew is Ghana’s top scorer in AFCON tournaments with 9 goals.

4. Nigeria

Nigeria has won three of their seven final matches on AFCON and has finished third in a record 8 times.

The Super Eagles won their first trophy in 1980 as a host nation. They defeated Algeria 3-0 in the finals.

They waited 14 years for the next victory. It was 2-1 for Nigeria against Zambia in the 1994 finals.

After four final losses, Nigeria won their third trophy in 2013 with a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the finals.

In 2019, Nigeria finished third after a semi-final 2-1 loss to Algeria and a 1-0 win over Tunisia in the third-place match.

Rashidi Yekini is Nigeria’s top scorer and third overall in AFCON history.

5. Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast has won two AFCON tournaments in 1992 and 2015 both after long penalty shootout series against Ghana in the finals. They have lost twice in the final matches and have finished in third place four times.

The Elephants won their first title after an 11-10 penalty shootout against Ghana in 1992 and defeated the same opponent 9-8 in the penalty roulette in 2015.

In 2019, Ivory Coast lost to Algeria in the quarterfinals.

Laurent Pokou is Ivory Coast’s leading scorer with 14 goals at the AFCON tournaments.

6. Algeria

Algeria has won two AFCON tournaments, the first one as hosts in 1990 and the last one in 2019.

The Greens have lost once in the final and have finished third twice.

In 1990 they defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the finals.

In the last tournament, Algeria won with the same score against Senegal. Baghdad Bounedjah scored the lone goal in the second minute of the final match. Lakhdar Belloumi and Riyad Mahrez with six goals each are Algerian top scorers at the AFCON tournaments.

That’s it for our Тop Six Teams in AFCON History. Let us know what you think below in the comments.

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