Top tight in Senegal, tighter in Nigeria
Even though the CAF Champions League began its group competition at the weekend, there was still plenty of league action across the continent. Nigeria’s league race has the possibility of an enthralling finish as Kano Pillars caught up with the top two while Senegal is also headed towards a resounding finale. In Angola, Kabuscorp remain leaders despite losing while a draw was good enough to give Red Arrows top place in Zambia.
Nigeria Premier League: Pillars push in on leaders
Sunshine Stars kept up their slender lead on goal difference as Dolphin went down for the third time in their last four games. Stars were in CAF Confederation Cup action at the weekend, giving Dolphin a chance to go three points clear, but their 3-2 loss at Kano Pillars means the two leaders stay on 60 points with Pillars now just a single point behind.
Big game: Two penalties in the last five minutes against Dolphin ensured Pillars a vital title-chasing win but not without nerves as Gambo Mohammed missed from the spot on the stroke of time with the two sides level at 2-2. But the referee awarded the home side another penalty four minutes into stoppage time which Rabiu Ali took and converted for a victory that pushed Pillars third with 59 points.
Headline-grabbers: George Akpabio was back among the goals again to extend his lead at the top of the league’s scoring charts. He scored both goals for Plateau United in their 2-0 home win over Warri Wolves and now has a season’s total of 14. Four more goals and he will match the record for a single Premier League season. But despite his exploits, his side are still in the relegation zone with five games left of the season.
Angola GiraBola: No inclination to catch leaders
Leaders Kabuscorp suffered their second defeat in the last three games but still have a four-point lead with the chasing pack failed to pick up the slack. Mingo Sanda scored the only goal of the game as Sagrada Esperanca beat the unfancied table-toppers by a single goal in Dundo, but then 24 hours later second-placed Petro Atletico managed to make just a one-point in-road, held at home to a 1-1 draw by Recreativo Caala.
Big game: Kabuscorp have held the league’s leadership for more than two months now, able to stay atop as all the leading contenders show early-season inconsistency. They were desperately close to snatching a hard-earned away point but then conceded an 89th-minute penalty, which Mingo Sanda converted to push Sagrada to the brink of the top half of the table.
Headline-grabbers: National coach Lito Vidigal was in the stands, but Petro Atletico’s players did not use the opportunity to shine as they had to come back from conceding an early goal to draw 1-1 with Recreativo Caala. Love’s penalty marked his 13th goal of the season – and kept him top of the scoring charts – after Femi had put the team from Huambo into a 14th-minute lead.
Senegal National Championship: Entering the business end
Ouakam have a four-point lead and eight games left to go as the season now reaches its breaking point. A 2-0 win over Guediawaye FC ended a run of two successive draws that threatened to see them lose momentum. Diaraf Dakar stayed in touch with success of their own, moving up to 35 points.
Big game: Diaraf met US Goree in a Dakar derby at the Stade Demba Diop and scored either side of the break after going behind in only the sixth minute to a goal from Roger Gomis. The exciting Pape Macou Sarr equalised midway through the first half and the winner came in the 68th minute from Cire Dia.
Headline-grabbers: Jeanne d’Arc, traditionally one of the strongest teams in Ligue 1, are out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after beating Linguere from Saint-Louis by a single goal. A potentially precious strike from Moustapha Cisse after 75 minutes will have come as a great relief to their fans. .
Zambia Super Division: Almost halfway
Red Arrows are one week away from marking the midpoint of the season in top spot after inching ahead by a single point after a 3-3 draw with Nkwazi. They lead Power Dynamos by one point and Konkola Blades by two.
Big game: For the fifth time in a row, Red Arrows and Nkwazi played out a draw, as the lead see-sawed from one team to the other. It was 2-2 at half-time after goals from Bruce Musakanya and Shedreck Malambo (Arrows) and Derrick Mwansa and Kasongo Mwepya (Nkwazi). Malambo’s 75th-minute goal had Arrows ahead and seemingly on their way to a vital three point haul before their hopes were dashed by Mwansa on the stroke of full-time.
Headline-grabbers: Lottie Phiri is back after a disappointing sojourn in South Africa, but he showed his quality with two goals in Power Dynamos’ 3-1 home win over Zanaco in Kitwe. Second-placed Dynamos have high hopes of a title this season
Posta Rangers suffered a surprise home loss to KCB and surrendered the lead in the Kenyan Premier League to Tusker.
FC Platinum won 3-0 at the weekend to lead in Zimbabwe by two points from defending champions Motor Action.
Liga Muculmana beat Maxaquene 2-1 away in the clash of the top two teams in Mozambique’s league at the weekend.