SuperSport United had their unbeaten start to the new South African season halted in dramatic fashion by the defending champions, while in Morocco FUS Rabat opened up an eight-point gap by beating the title holders. Elsewhere, Asante Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea continue to tussle in the Ghanaian Premier League as USM Alger stayed top in Algeria.
South Africa Premier League: Run ended
Leaders SuperSport United lost their unbeaten record in their 13th game of the season as they went down 3-0 to champions Orlando Pirates on Saturday night. It provided Mamelodi Sundowns the next afternoon with a chance to close a three-point gap and go top, but they lost at home to Kaizer Chiefs, who are now in a three-way tie in third place with Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows.
Big game: SuperSport, who have won three of the last four championships, were threatening to establish a runaway lead before the halfway mark of the season but were pulled back firmly by Pirates. Veteran Benni McCarthy converted an early penalty followed by goals from Isaac Chansa and Ndumiso Mabena. The score was ultimately flattering, but SuperSport were the first to concede they had left their scoring boots at home.
Headline-grabbers: Tough tacking Zimbabwean international Thomas Sweswe rarely ventures out of his own half, but he headed home a free kick after 12 minutes for his first goal in the South African Premier League. It proved enough for Chiefs to beat Sundowns in Pretoria, although 39-year-old Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman was the star of the game after making some heroic stops to keep Sundowns at bay.
Morocco Botola: Leaders show their credentials
Surprise leaders FUS Rabat reinforced their credentials as they seek a first-ever title by handing champions Raja Casablanca their second defeat of the season. FUS Rabat are now eight points clear at the head of the Botola standings although they have played two more matches than second placed MA Tetouan. Raja remain back in fifth spot, nine points behind FUS Rabat and with no games in hand.
Big game: Brahim Bahri scored just before the half-hour mark after he was first to a rebound from a 20-metre effort had been blocked, and Badr Kachani added a second half penalty as FUS Rabat put on a competent showing to dismiss the champions. Kachani is now second in the scoring charts with six for the season.
Headline-grabbers: Former African champions FAR Rabat have finally got their first win of the season but remain in deep trouble near the foot of the table. A 1-0 away win over JS Massira, courtesy of a goal on the hour mark from El Mahdi Azim, snapped a nine match winless streak since the start of the season, but the Royal Armed Forces are still second from bottom and in the relegation zone.
Ghana Premier League: Kotoko open up two point lead
Asante Kotoko temporarily lost top spot in the league but regained it back after 24 hours from champions Berekum Chelsea. Kotoko’s 1-0 win over Ebusua Dwarfs gives them a two point lead after Chelsea had earlier beaten Bechem United. Hearts of Oak slipped three points off the lead after losing a derby to Liberty Professionals
Big game: Dwarfs were always going to be a tough opponent for Kotoko, coming into the game on a nine-game unbeaten run and seeking to inflict on the leaders a second defeat of the season. It took an hour for Kotoko to break down their visitors’ defence before Daniel Nii Adjei scored the only goal of the game.
Headline-grabbers: James Abban scored twice to emerge as the hero as Liberty Professionals upset Hearts, who had to play the entire second half down to 10 men after Owusu Sefa was sent off just before the interval. Abban opened the scoring after 64 minutes and then made sure in stoppage time of a second after snapping up Michael Helegbe’s corner kick.
Algeria Premier League: New coach wins second game
New USM Alger coach Didier Olle-Nicolle has won a second game since taking over and kept the club from the capital at the top of Ligue 1. USMA beat NA Hussein-Dey 2-0 and are two points ahead of CR Belouizdad, who won by the same score line over MC Alger. Entente Setif slipped back to third after a 2-2 draw at JS Kabylie.
Big game: After last weekend’s derby defeat, Olle-Nicolle was keen to get his side back on track again but had to wait until the last 15 minutes to be sure of the win. Noureddine Daham scored twice at the end to ensure the win for USMA, although they did have striker Fares Hamiti sent off on the stroke of full time.
Headline-grabbers: Clashes between JSK and Entente Setif are always eagerly awaited affairs but rarely do they produce four goals in a game. Setif were 2-0 up after 50 minutes through Abderahmane Hachoud and Mohamed Amine Aoudia before their hosts launched a comeback with a goal from Salim Hanifi and a penalty converted by Saad Tedjar to even the score.
Three sides still remain unbeaten after the first five rounds of the new season in Mauritania but CF Cansado are alone at the top.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs have opened up an eight point lead at the halfway point of the Botswana’s Premier League
Fomboni Club ended Comoros' championship play-off with a 2-0 win over Coin Nord, but it was not enough to stop their opponents from being crowned champions.