Two more champions have been crowned as the year heads to an end, with Recreativo Libolo and Esperance winning the title in Angola and Tunisia respectively.
In Kenya, Tusker are odds-on to retain their title, while Kaizer Chiefs are looking for a first league success since 2005 and have got off to a near-perfect start in South Africa.
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Angola GiraBola: Libolo are champions again
Recreativo Libolo won a second successive championship on Sunday without even kicking a ball as the only team that could catch them lost. The 2-0 defeat of second-placed Primeiro Agosto by Petro Atletico in the traditional Luanda ‘classico’ means Recreativo are ten points clear with three rounds to play. Recreativo had hammered relegation-haunted Sporting Cabinda 7-0 on Saturday.
Big game: Angola internationals Mabina and Job scored for Petro, who ended the army club’s outside chance of taking the title. Primeiro are still second in the standings, four points clear of Kabuscorp and six clear of Petro.
Headline-grabbers: Vado and Rasca both scored twice and there were late goals from Sydney, Ruben and Viola in Recreativo’s 7-0 thrashing. In front of their home fans in Calulo, Libolo were 3-0 up inside the first half-hour. It marked only the second win in the last seven games for the runaway league leaders, whose unbeaten run ended after 26 matches last weekend when they lost 4-2 at Santos.
Tunisia Ligue 1: Esperance celebrate after defeat
An expected party for Esperance was muted by defeat in their final game of the Ligue 1 season, but they are still champions again. Stade Tunisien avoided relegation with a 3-1 win over the Blood and Gold, who had already made sure of the title in midweek to extend their record number of championships to 25 .
Big game: Esperance received their trophy for yet another championship win but only after the surprise defeat and in front an empty stand – with the ban on spectators still in force for league games. Nigerian import Akarandut Orock, Haithem Ben Salem and Martial Yao Kouassi from Côte d’Ivoire scored for Stade before Walid Hichri pulled one goal back five minutes into stoppage time.
Headline-grabbers: CA Bizertin had been the surprise package of the season and were in a neck-and-neck race with Esperance until dropping off in the last three rounds. But their 1-1 draw at Marsa, where the home team needed a 78th-minute penalty from Nabil Missaoui to share the spoils, means they do earn a berth in next year’s CAF Champions League field. Beni-Khalled and Gabes had already been confirmed as relegated.
Kenyan Premier League: Tusker pointing the way
Three successive wins have suddenly catapulted defending champions Tusker into a three-point lead in the standings with four rounds left. AFC Leopards are second after beating Muhoroni Youth away, and there are still six clubs with a mathematical chance of winning the league.
Big game: Tusker had to come from behind to win, forced to dig deep after a magnificent free-kick by Clinton Miheo put Thika ahead at the National Stadium in Nairobi. A second-half comeback saw goals from Patrick Kagogo and Kenneth Wendo ensure what could turn out to be the key win of the season for Tusker. The two goals came in an early onslaught after the two teams resumed the second half.
Headline-grabbers: Leopards had ‘suspended’ coach Jan Koops on Monday after watching their lead in the standings slip, putting former Kenya captain Mickey Weche in charge. The Dutchman was back at the helm as Leopards rebounded from the drama with an away win. They were quickly on the attack in Kakamega, taking the lead after 24 minutes through Jonas Mahimana before Allan Wanga added a second two minutes from half-time.
South African Premier League: New boys prove sensations
Kaizer Chiefs continued their rampant start to the new campaign with a fifth win in six games by beating recently promoted Chippa United at home. But it is the other new boys Pretoria University who are proving early-season sensations after hammering Ajax Cape Town 5-1 away for a third successive away win. They lie second in the standings on 12 points, four behind Chiefs and two ahead of Free State Stars and defending champions Orlando Pirates.
Big game: Bloemfontein Celtic have always been difficult to beat at raucous Free State Stadium as champions Pirates found out again despite dominating a game that was full of passion and desire. A late ‘smash and grab’ goal from Lennox Bacela gave Celtic a 1-0 home success and ended the winning start that Pirates have made since Roger de Sa took over as coach.
Headline-grabbers: Pretoria University continued to defy the pundits with an unbeaten start to the season. The 5-1 win, powered by four goals from Aubrey Ngoma, was hard for their own coach Steve Barker to fathom, as has been their bright start to the season. “I must admit I never expected this,” he confessed. The club are competing in the top flight for the first time.
Raja Casablanca have kept up their 100 per cent record, winning a third game of the new Morocco season with a 4-2 triumph over KAC Kenitra.
SC Villa beat Entebbe Young 4-2 away to win a second game of the new campaign in Uganda and take an early lead.
JSM Bejaia lead last year’s champions ES Setif by one point after four games in Algeria.