AFCON 2023: Ranking the Top 5 Goals of the Tournament as Ivory Coast Win Title

AFCON 2023: Ranking the Top 5 Goals of the Tournament as Ivory Coast Win Title

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Ivory Coast are the 2023 AFCON champions after beating Nigeria
  • This edition of the tournament gave fans some spectacular goals
  • The 2023 AFCON tournament is considered the greatest of all time

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations delivered moments of magic, whether goals, drama or upsets.

We witnessed a few upsets in the group phase, but the goals have been incredible, too. From long-range free kicks to awe-inspiring finishes, the list of incredible goals is long, after the conclusion of the tournament.

Bebe, Mabululu, Aboubakary Koita, Lamine Camara, Pablo Ganet, AFCON, Cape Verde, Angola.
Bebe and Mabululu scored incredible goals in the group stages of the AFCON. Photos by Franck Fife and Kenzo Tribouillard.
Source: Getty Images

The tournament has served up some truly sumptuous goals. Arguably, the goal of the tournament contenders was scored in the group stages.

Bebe's long-range kick for giant killers, Cape Verde, caught the eyes of millions of football fans all over the world, but a few more stunning goals were scored early in the competition. Sports Brief has listed the top five.

Top 5 AFCON 2023 goals

5. Mabululu, Angola vs Namibia

The Round of 16 clash pitting neighbours, Angola and Namibia, was full of drama. Both sides were shown red cards in the first half, making the game more intriguing. Angola's Gelson Dala scored twice in quick succession to give his side a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Angola went on a counter-attack and Dala turned provider, this time providing an assist for Mabululu. The striker was marked with one Namibian defender, and the goalie moved backwards. He opened his body and fired a beautiful finesse shot as the defender closed in. Nigeria eliminated Angola in the quarter-final.

4. Lamine Camara, Senegal vs The Gambia

Camara's goal came in Senegal's first game of the campaign. He scored a brace in that game, but his second was the pick of the bunch.

Iliman Ndiaye masterfully evaded defenders on the right-hand side before putting it on a plate for Camara, who stood just outside the box. The 20-year-old then curled in a beautiful strike past the goalkeeper to seal a comfortable victory for the Lions of Teranga. Unfortunately, they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by eventual winners, Ivory Coast.

3. Pablo Ganet, Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast

Equatorial Guinea were knocked out of the tournament with a last-gasp goal by Guinea on Sunday, January 28. However, they left their mark on the tournament, including thrashing hosts, Ivory Coast, 4-0 in the group stage.

One of the goals was a spectacular free kick by Pablo Garnet in the 73rd minute. Ivory Coast goalie, Yahya Fofana, was well beaten by the 25-yard free kick. Although their tournament is over, they walk away having handed African giants a memorable beating. The dark horses were knocked out in the Round of 16 by Guinea.

2. Aboubakary Koita, Mauritania vs Angola

Mauritania vs. Angola is still one of the games of the tournament. The West Africans were beaten 3 -2 but scored a remarkable goal through Aboubakary Koita in the second half.

The forward picked up the ball in the final third, evaded one defender, and then unleashed a thunderous strike past the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, it was their last goal of the game as Angola went on to win. Their incredible run was ended by Cape Verde in the last 16.

1. Bebe, Cape Verde vs Mozambique

It is hard to believe that Bebe briefly played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United a few years ago. The forward has been scoring key goals for Cape Verde in Ivory Coast, but his long-range free kick against Mozambique could be the goal of the tournament.

Bebe's effort from near the halfway line bamboozled Mozambique's goalkeeper, Ernan Siluane, who failed to keep it out. It is arguably the best goal scored in the tournament. The former Man United star was poor in their quarter-final clash against South Africa, which they lost.

Bebe scores AFCON stunner

Sports Brief has also previously reported on Bebe scoring a long-range goal to help Cape Verde book their spot in the Round of 16 of the 2023 AFCON.

He opened the scoring for his side in the 32nd minute of the game when he fired in from a direct free kick, appearing to catch Mozambique's Siluane out.

The goalkeeper attempted to parry the ball away but only succeeded in helping it into the back of the net, with many fans lauding Bebe for the attempt.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.