Zaha, Adebayor and Ziyech: African players who reached FA Cup final but never won it

Ghnewsbag profiles the stars from the continent who came close to winning the English competition.

The FA Cup final takes place this Saturday with Liverpool facing Chelsea and a number of African players will be involved.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Joel Matip are all likely to start for Liverpool while Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech could line up for Chelsea.

With one team set for the disappointment of losing, Ghnewsbag looks at six African players who reached the FA Cup final but never won it.

Quinton Fortune

The former South African international, who played as a midfielder and left-back, was on Manchester United’s books for seven years (1999-2006) where he featured sparingly.

While he won a Premier League title in 2003, the FA Cup eluded him in 2005 when he was an unused substitute as the Red Devils lost to Arsenal 5-4 on post-match penalties after a barren draw in regular time.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Despite turning out for Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, the former Togo international never managed to reach the FA Cup final with the aforementioned and his only chance to get his hands on the prestigious trophy came in the 2015-16 season while playing for Crystal Palace.

Adebayor was an unused substitute as Palace lost 2-1 to Manchester United in extra time, the Eagles having been 12 minutes away from victory.

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Wilfried Zaha

Like Adebayor, the Ivory Coast international also lost the 2015-16 final to Manchester United, having started and completed the match as he was among manager Alan Pardew’s key men for Crystal Palace. Zaha tormented the United defence for most of the game but he could not find the target.

Unlike Adebayor, Zaha still has a chance to win the trophy if Palace, or another team that he could join, reaches the final.

Eric Bailly

The Ivory Coast centre-back looks set to leave Manchester United and he could do that without winning the FA Cup trophy. Bailly was an unused substitute as United lost the 2017-18 final to Chelsea who won 1-0 thanks to Eden Hazard’s strike. Bailly had been a key member of the squad prior to the final but injuries limited his appearances.

Hakim Ziyech

This will be a second straight final for the Morocco international who started last season’s final which Chelsea lost 1-0 to Leicester City. Ziyech played 68 minutes but was not lucky to get on the scoresheet as Youri Tielemans’ 63rd minute goal proved the difference. However, Ziyech has a chance to write those wrongs in today’s final against Liverpool.