A new season opened in South Africa with a record-tying scoreline for the country’s best supported club. Union Douala stretched to six games their winning streak in Cameroon while Recreativo Libolo continued their unbeaten run in Angola as the title comes clearly into focus for them.
South Africa Premier League: Six of the best to start
Kaizer Chiefs shot out of the gates with a 6-0 away thrashing of AmaZulu, equalling the league record for the biggest away win in history and overshadowing the winning start made by champions, and Chiefs’ arch rivals, Orlando Pirates. The Buccaneers came from behind to beat Lamontville Golden Arrows 2-1 at home while the other pre-season favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, just edged past new boys Chippa United.
Big game: A 4-1 cup defeat a week ago had Chiefs’ new coach Stuart Baxter cutting a haunted figure, but he was all smiles after the one-sided win at hapless AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Bernard Parker scored four goals to match, in the first game of the new campaign, his haul for the entire last season. Baxter said it would be churlish to find issues after such an emphatic win, but he added there was still more work needed.
Headline-grabbers: Three years ago Zimbabwe international goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini was on the receiving end of another 6-0 defeat, for Platinum Stars against Golden Arrows. At the weekend, Kapini captained AmaZulu and again had to pick the ball out of the net half-a-dozen times. “I’m a hard worker and now I’m going to work even harder,” was his response after the mauling.
Nigeria Premier League: Walk-off takes Kaduna clear
Kaduna United won one of the two catch-up games at the weekend, not altering the list of the front-runners but giving their own cause a massive boost. Kaduna moved out of the relegation zone when opponents Heartland left the pitch before the end of the game in protest at the refereeing. Sunshine Stars’ outside hopes of another top-two finish were ended in a 1-1 home draw against Kwara United. They have one game to play and are eight points off the pace.
Big game: Behind by two goals, Heartland walked off the pitch after an hour to handover three precious points. Oliver Insidebe and Tony Michael scored before Heartland players stormed off, which is likely to bring further punishment.
Headline-grabbers: Last season Ajani Ibrahim finished second in the league goal-scoring charts with 19 strikes. This season it has taken 37 games of the campaign for him to register his first goal, a 65th-minute opener that gave Stars the lead for ten minutes before Kwara equalised through Christopher Obiorah. “I have gone through hell looking for the answers to my inability to score,” he told reporters afterwards.
Cameroon Elite One: Room at the top
Union Douala won away at YOSA to stretch to seven points their lead in the Elite One. New Star Douala toppled Panthere Nde from second spot by beating them 1-0 and defending champions Coton Sport have squeezed between the pair into third place after winning 1-0 at Aigle Royal Menoua, who are now in serious relegation danger. Bottom-placed Scorpion Bey have announced they can no longer fulfil their remaining eight fixtures of the season.
Big game: Union came from behind to win in Bamenda against YOSA with new Nigerian import Emedolibe Agada scoring on the stroke of full time to extend to six matches the club’s winning run. The former African champions are now well on course to claim their first Cameroonian championship since 1990. Joel Babanda equalised for Union after they had given up an early lead.
Headline-grabbers: The hangover from a player strike over unpaid salaries at Canon Yaounde haunted the side at the weekend as the three-time continental champions went down at home to Njalla Quan. The embarrassing home defeat means Canon are stuck in mid-table a long way off their former glory. Canon last won the league ten years ago and the last of their African Champions Cup successes in 1980.
Angola GiraBola: Still unbeaten and marching on
Defending champions Recreativo Libolo continue their march toward an unbeaten season, stretching to 21 games their run with nine matches left. But their 1-1 draw at Progresso Sambizanga has cut their lead from 13 to 11 points. In second, Primeiro Agosto were able to claw some ground back with a 3-1 win over Onze Bravos. Kabuscorp, runners-up last season, are now third after beating Santos 1-0.
Big game: A header from an 83rd-minute corner by Edy kept intact Libolo’s run after they had conceded an early goal to their hosts at Luanda’s Cidadela Stadium. Isaac scored after just three minutes for Progresso, but they lost the advantage when defender Brazuca was sent off near the end of the first half after picking up a second yellow card.
Headline-grabbers: Kabuscorp continued their bid to again finish in the top two as they beat Santos with a 44th-minute goal from Seleo. It was their third win in their last four matches. Last season, Luanda-based Kabuscorp ran Libolo close for the championship, but this time they find themselves much farther behind, a total of 15 points.
Al Hilal won 3-1 on Friday against Al-Rabtsa Kosti to stretch to nine points their lead over Al Merreikh in Sudan. AFC Leopards beat Thika United 5-0 to go eight points ahead in Kenya, but second placed Tusker have three games in hand. Maxaquene took over as leaders in the MocamBola in Mozambique, toppling Ferroviario Maputo from top place as they beat HCB Songo 1-0.