Too Good, Too Bad: Africans in the FA Cup final

Here is a review some of the best and worst performances by African players in the history of the FA Cup final

Too Good

Yaya Toure – The Ivorian powerhouse has come to the end of his Manchester City career after winning a host of honours with the Sky Blues.

Most notably, he won a hat-trick of Premier League titles with the Citizens, but before they embarked on their championship-winning run, they ended their 35-year trophy drought with the FA Cup in 2011.

It was Toure who netted the only goal of the game to down a resilient and disciplined Stoke City side, setting City on their way to the glories that would follow.

Too Bad

Victor Moses – Remarkably, for the oldest club competition in the world, only five players have ever been sent off in the FA Cup final. Only one of these—Moses—has been African, with the wideman succeeding Kevin Moran, Jose Antonio Reyes, Pablo Zabaleta and Chris Smalling.

It was a sorry end to a fine season for the Nigeria international, who’d reinvented himself at Chelsea during their title-winning campaign under Antonio Conte.

He was shown a red card at Wembley for a second yellow as Arsenal beat the Pensioners 2-1.

Too Good

Nwankwo Kanu – Amidst the many honours that Kanu accrued within the game, his FA Cup success with Portsmouth must surely rank right up there.

He netted the only goal of the game in the 2008 final—following an assist from John Utaka—as Pompey ended their near-seven-decade wait to triumph in the competition they’d previously won in 1939.

The attacker had won the cup twice before (with Arsenal), but this was the first time he’d played a truly decisive role in a major showpiece, as a fine Portsmouth side completed something of a fairytale success.

Too Bad

While Kanu enjoyed great success in the FA Cup final, he was also on the defeated side in one of the most galling defeats in the competition’s history. Arsenalbossed the 2001 final against Liverpool, and took the lead through Freddie Ljungberg’s 72nd-minute opener.

However, the Gunners didn’t bank on a remarkable late intervention from Michael Owen, who netted twice, in the 83rd and 88th minutes—either side of Kanu’s introduction from the bench.

The Londoners would make up for it by completing a league-and-cup double in 2002.

Too Good

Didier Drogba – Surely Africa’s undisputed king of the FA Cup final, Drogba won the competition on four occasions and found the net in each final.

It’s hard to pick out his most decisive contribution, although his extra-time winner against Manchester United in 2007 surely ranks highly on the list. LiverpoolEverton and Portsmouth were also laid out by the Ivorian hitman, with the Drog netting the opener against the Reds, the equaliser against the Toffees, and the winner against Pompey.


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