Moghreb Tetouan beat their closest rivals to win the Moroccan title, while Pamplemousses SC in Mauritius and CF Mounana in Gabon are also wearing new crowns this week. The Ghanaian league had a clear victor, and the action in Nigeria continues to be tense.
Morocco Botola: New champions
Moghreb Tetouan won their first title on Monday night as they beat FUS Rabat away to take the Botola. It was perfectly scripted between two sides who had previously never been champions as FUS Rabat had home advantage but had to win as Tetouan had a point advantage and needed only a draw.
Big game: Abdelkarim Benhania scored the only goal of the match early in the second half. It was his third goal in as many vital games to help his side to unexpected success, and the northern club will now play for the first time in the CAF Champions League.
Headline-grabbers: Tetouan held on in the title decider with a slight advantage, and the stout defence of Aziz El Amri’s club won most of the plaudits this season. Their success in limiting opponents eventually proved the difference as they conceded just 13 goals in 30 games, importantly just one in their last four vital matches of the season.
Mauritius Premier League: Sweet victory
Pamplemousses were crowned champions after beating Savanne SC. It is the third title for the club from the northern part of the Indian Ocean island to go with previous success in 2006 and 2010. They finished with 38 points, ASPL on 35 and Petit Riviere-Noire 34.
Big game: Pamplemousses had a one-point lead going into the final day of the season and effectively needed just to win to make sure of securing the crown. But it took 66 minutes for captain Colin Bell to get the only goal of the game, while at the same time in Rose-Hill, Petit Riviere-Noire had their goalkeeper sent off and went on to crash to AS Port Louis 2000.
Headline-grabbers: For years, Henri Speville was the phlegmatic captain of Mauritius’ national team. He made a quick and successful transition from the heart of Pamplemousses’s defence to a title-winning coach in 2010. Now he has two titles in the last three years. “I knew from the moment we scored that we had one hand on the trophy, even though there were 20 minutes still to play,” he said afterwards.
Ghana Premier League: Champions finish strong
Asante Kotoko had already long secured the title but won their last game of the season at home to Tema Youth to ensure a 14-point advantage over second placed AshantiGold. Hearts of Oak finished third while last season’s champions Berekum Chelsea ended up seventh, held to a 1-1 home draw by Mighty Jets on the final day of the season. Debutants Bechem United, Wassaman United and Jets were relegated.
Big game: Wassaman United were already condemned down a division but the other two relegation spots still had to be decided with three teams facing the drop – Bechem United on 27 points, Mighty Jets on 29 and Berekum Arsenal on 30 going into the final round. Bechem lost at Edubaise and Arsenal at Hearts of Oak. Jets were leading and safely out of the drop zone against Chelsea until the final minutes when Abdul Basit converted a free-kick. A draw left Jets even with Arsenal, but they go down because of the head-to-head results between the two.
Headline-grabbers: Edubaise striker Emmanuel Baffour ended up one goal off matching the record of 22 goals in a single Premier League season – set by former Black Stars internationals Ishmael Addo in 2001. Baffour won the Golden Boot with 21 goals despite failing to score even as his team won their final match.
Nigeria Premier League: Goal difference at the top
Enyimba beat leaders Enugu Rangers in the weekend’s top-of-the-table clash to join them at the head of the standings on 46 points. The 2-0 victory was not enough, however to take them into first place, which Rangers still enjoy by virtue of a better goal difference. Kano Pillars are three points back in third place and champions Dolphin kept up their challenge by winning at home to struggling ABS. Dolphin are fourth, four points behind the top two.
Big game: Two former players came back to haunt Rangers at Aba as both Rasaq Adegbite and Ugwu Uwadiegwu scored against the club now coached by former Enyimba boss Okey Emordi. Enyimba ended the match down to 10 men after Uwadiegwu was dismissed but Emordi was the first to admit his side were unable to use the advantage. “We didn’t show any hunger to win,” he told reporters after the game.
Headline-grabbers: Participation in the CAF Champions League seems to have taken away the focus of Sunshine Stars from their domestic campaign and they have dropped down to ninth place after two successive league losses. The latest came away at Atlantic Sharks where they lost to a goal from Gomo Onduku. Stars start their group campaign in Africa’s top club competition in July.
African champions Esperance fired coach Michel Decastel on Thursday and then lost at home on the weekend to CA Bizertin, who are now just one point behind them in Tunisia.
CF Mounana made sure of the championship in Gabon after second-placed US Bitam were held to a draw at Sogea.
Horoya AC have a one point lead over Atletico Coleah as the league in Guinea moves into the second half of the season.