Ulinzi Stars won their fourth Premier League title in Kenya on the last day of the season and booked their place in next season’s CAF Champions League. But elsewhere, derby action in Africa dominated and it was a miserable weekend for league leaders, with Mamelodi Sundowns going down in South Africa and Bechem Chelsea losing away in Ghana. FIFA.com rounds up the weekend action in some of the African leagues
South Africa: Derby surprise
Kaizer Chiefs took advantage of an own goal after just six minutes and some sloppy defending to force an unexpected 3-1 win over Orlando Pirates in the ‘clasico’ of the South African Premier League season. Daine Klate steered the ball into his own net after six minutes before two goals from Zimbabwean import Knowledge Musona made it sure for Chiefs in a result that went against most predictions. Chiefs are now second in the standings just a point behind leaders Sundowns, who lost away at BidVest Wits. Wits moved the game to attract a larger crowd at the FIFA World Cup™ stadium in Nelspruit. Again an own goal proved the decisive touch; in this case the unlucky player was James Mayinga.
Big game: Pirates went into the derby as favourites after a run of good form, but their dangerous wingers were kept in check and midfield dynamo Andile Jali was stymied. A crowd of almost 75,000 at Soccer City saw Chiefs win a derby for the first time in their last five attempts.
Headline-grabbers: Champions SuperSport United, seeking an unprecedented fourth successive title, finally got back on the winning trail by beating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1, although they were lucky to hold on at the end. Moroka Swallows are stubbornly holding onto veteran German coach Rainer Zobel despite yet another defeat. They still have just a single point after eight matches of the new season
Algeria: A weekend off but still top
Entente Setif had the weekend off but remain on top of Ligue 1, albeit now by just a single point. ASO Chlef are within touching reach but have played one match more after beating Mouloudia Oran 2-1. They were the only one of the five top teams to don their boots in the latest round of league matches with the rest of the games rescheduled to the end of the month
Big game: JS Kabylie’s bid to catapult themselves back up among the early leaders was thwarted at USM El Harrach, where Mohamed Boualem scored his third goal of the season and the only one of the match. At the bottom, CA Bordj Bou Arreridj beat Chabab Belouizdad 2-1 to win their first game of the season and move off the foot of the table. They came from behind with the winner coming from a 71st-minute penalty.
Headline-grabbers: Former national team coach Meziane Ighil is working the early magic at Chlef where he took over in July, pushing the team up to second place. But the points from their latest win are under threat after supporters stoned the bus of opponents Mouloudia Oran and injured two players in the process.
Kenya: A new champion
Ulinzi Stars kept their nerve on the final day of the season to win the premier league, eventually finishing three points clear of Gor Mahia. Ulinzi were just one point in front before they went into their game against Karuturi Sports in Nakuru, but a 2-0 win was sufficient to spark widespread celebrations. As it happened Gor Mahia were held to a draw when they needed to win to stand any chance of snatching the championship.
Big game: Ulinzi’s appeal spread wider than the military constituency that they represent as Nakuru feasted in the championship-winning performance. Hussein Mohamed settled nerves early with a sixth-minute goal and the title was made sure when Godfrey Njuguna scored an own goal midway through the second half.
Headline-grabbers: The ‘soldiers’ of Ulinzi are back at the top for their fourth title in the last seven years, representing a continuing coup of sorts to the established order in the Kenyan club game.
Ghana: Giants falling
For decades, the Premier League title was the alternate property of long-standing rivals Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak from the capital. But their joint dominance is fast fading as Kotoko lost a fourth successive game and dropped to 12th in the standings and Hearts fell five points off the pace after a surprise home loss. Bechem Chelsea remain on top despite losing 3-1 to Ebusua Dwarfs.
Big game: Kotoko had a new Serbian coach Bogdan Korak on the bench, but they still lost 2-1 to New Edubiase United at home in Kumasi, the outcome effectively decided by two goals from Fuseini Nuhu in the opening 36 minutes.
Headline grabbers: Newly promoted Mighty Jets posted the biggest result in their club history with an away win over former African champions Hearts of Oak at Accra’s Ohene Djan Stadium. The winner was scored at the end of a mazy run by Aaron Amoah near the hour mark.
CotonSport made a winning start to the defence of their Elite One title in Cameroon, getting the new campaign underway with a 4-2 away win over last season’s runners-up Astres Douala. “We won the battle in midfield, which was important,” said CotonSport’s French coach Denis Lavagne about the big win.
Zimbabwe’s Premier League hosted a derby between Dynamos and CAPS United at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare but there were no spoils for the crowd in a scoreless draw. Dynamos goalkeeper Washington Arubi took the plaudits for his man of match performance.
Cnaps Sports won their first-ever title in Madagascar’s Champions League after winning the championship play-offs with a 2-0 triumph over Japan Actuel’s FC. The new champions are from the Itasy region and are coached by former Madagascar captain Etienne ‘Titi’ Rasoanaivo, one of four brothers who played in the national side.