Morocco’s new season got off to a sticky start for defending champions Raja Casablanca, who got caught in the last minute of their opening game and lost. Recreativo Libolo have taken over as leaders in Angola while Red Arrows remain the team to beat in Zambia. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, TP Mazembe Englebert have continued their climb up the standings, buoyed by the return of a key player.
Angola Girabola: Eight in the chase
Only eight points separate the top eight teams in the 16-team league, which now has eight rounds left to play. Libolo took over for the first time this season, going one point clear after a hard fought draw at army side Primeiro Agosto, who are two points off the pace. Kabuscorp were finally knocked off the pinnacle to second after losing 1-0 at defending champions InterClube. Petro Atletico lie third after a 2-2 draw at relegation-haunted Benfica Luanda.
Big game: Both Primeiro Agosto and Recreativo Libolo had the chance to take over the leadership of the Girabola but an away draw in the end ensured Libolo are now top of the standings. Coached by former Angola boss Zeca Amaral, the side took the lead just after halftime through Aguinaldo – his tenthth league goal of the season – only for Bena to equalise for the soldiers in the 77th minute. “The two sides both showed the capacity to win the game, but I think a draw was a just result,” said Zeca Amaral afterwards.
Headline-grabbers: Manucho Barros was responsible for ending Kabuscorp’s long tenure at the top as he scored the only goal for InterClube in their match at the Estadio 22 de Junho. The champions revived their own hopes of staying in the race and are now seven points behind the leaders. Inter also have a game in hand against bottom-placed Academica Libolo.
Zambia Super Division: Red Arrows still flying
As the season approaches the final third of the programme, leaders Red Arrows were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Roan United. But they still have a handy three-point lead over Power Dynamos and Konkola Blades and a further two over fourth place Zanaco. Red Arrows, the air force club, won their only previous title in 2004.
Big game: Power Dynamos usurped Konkola Blades and moved into second place on goal difference after a 2-1 win in their important clash at Kitwe. Felix Nyaende scored twice for Dynamos, who had lost their two previous matches. Former Dynamos striker Elson Mkandawire scored a consolation for Blades against his ex-team-mates.
Headline-grabbers: The last months have been full of trials and tribulations for defending champions Zesco United, notably the after effects of the sacking of their title winning coach Fighton Simukonda. But they showed signs of a possible return to normality by beating Green Eagles 4-0 to move up to sixth place. The goals were scored by Winstone Kalengo, Jackson Mwanza, Maybin Mwaba and John Chingandu.
Morocco Botola: Stumbling out of the gate
Champions Raja Casablanca lost their opening game of the new season, beaten away by KAC Kenitra to add to their recent glum form in the CAF Champions League. But Morocco’s other representative in the pan-African competition, Wydad Casablanca, looked full of confidence as they began their campaign with a 2-0 home win over IZ Khemisset.
Big game: KAC Kenitra moved their game against Raja to the capital Rabat but still had plenty support for a tough start to the new season. The numerous fans were rewarded right at the end of the game as Senegalese import Mamadou Diagne rose unchallenged to head home a free kick awarded just as the game went into stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes.
Headline-grabbers: New Swiss coach Michel Decastel was well satisfied as Wydad began their league campaign under his tutelage with a workman–like performance. Decastel has already had three Champions League games under his belt and the benefit of the competitive action, before the start of the new season, was evidenced as Mouhssine Iajour scored after just three minutes and substitute Pascal Angan added a second late on.
DR Congo Super League: Three at the top
The return of Tresor Mputu after a one-year suspension has captivated Congolese football, and the crafty striker showed few ill-effects of his long lay-off in another stellar performance for Mazembe, as they beat CS Don Bosco 3-0 in Lubumbashi. The result has taken the double African champions to 19 points, one behind leaders V Club
Big game: Mputu announced his return from suspension with a goal for Mazembe against TS Malekesa last week, and this weekend he set up the first for Mbwana Samata in the 14th minute and then scored himself after 20 minutes. Joel Kimuaki rounded off the one-sided victory with a long range shot in the 68th minutes.
Headline-grabbers: With a couple of games in hand, Kinshasa giants Daring Club Motema Pembe are hoping to revive their league chances with victory on Monday in the capital against neighbours RCK. A win would put DCMP right back into contention, six points behind the leaders.
US Ouakam stand on the brink of a first-ever title in Senegal after beating Diaraf Dakar, while second placed Casa Sport lost.
Sunshine Stars beat JUTH FC 2-0 in a catch-up game and are now only one point behind Nigeria leaders Dolphin FC.
Zimbabwe’s top of the table clash between FC Platinum and Motor Action ended goalless. Both have 41 points from 21 games played.