Strikers are claiming their places in the spotlight of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and though it's early days yet, it looks like the contest for the topscorer's award will be as keen as the challenge for the trophy.
Unlike previous tournaments when it took a while for the strikers to make real impact, the arrowheads at the 32nd edition of the AFCON, Egypt 2019, are already making their presence felt with their strikes in their groups campaign which helped their teams progress to the Round of 16 ties.
Liverpool's pair of Mohamad Salah (Eygpt) and Sadio Mane (Senegal), Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew of Ghana and Auxerre's Yattara Mohamed, have each scored two goals as the race for the topscorer award sets off.
Mo Salah has scored two goals in three matches
Jordan Ayew has put up Man of the match performances and topped it with two goals
Having missed the opening game, Mane could have taken the lead to be on more goals had he taken his chances in the second and third group games.
However, he fluffed a chance to convert a penalty during Senegal's final Group C game against Kenya. Nonetheless, he scored on twice in that game to get his name on the scoresheet and also join the contest for the topscorer.
Forty-five other players have each scored as the group campaign which had 36 matches played, recorded 68 goals.
So far, only one own goal has been recorded and that stands in the name of Namibia’s Itamunua Keimuine in their opening game against Morocco.
John Boye goes down in the records as the first to be shown the exit at 2019 AFCON
Also at the end of the group campaign, 107 cards were shown with three red cards.
Ghana’s John Boye went into the record books as the first player to see red at this competition. He was shown the exit in their opening game against Benin for a second bookable offence.
Morocco lead the Fair Play contest, finishing their group campaign with just one yellow card, while debutants, Tanzania had the most yellow cards - eight cautions in three matches.