Leaders stay close in Angola, Zambia
The league races in Angola, Congo DR, Kenya and Zambia are all at a delicate stage of the season, and while there are still sides stumbling, there is also clear intent and focus on the part of others.
Kenya Premier League: Tusker looking strong
Tusker FC have a five-point advantage at the top after a 2-0 away win over struggling Thika United. The brewery team, who are on 43 points, also have a game in hand over their nearest rival as the championship chase moves into its final straight. Second are defending champions Ulinzi Stars on 38 points with Sofapaka, champions in 2009, third on 36.
Big game: It took until just before half-time for Tusker to break down the home side with a goal from Brian Mandela, rising up for a header from a free-kick. Ten minutes into the second half it was 2-0 as Denis Mukaisi took advantage in a goalmouth melee. Tusker coach Sammy Omollo was quick to caution afterwards, however, that the title race was still open with Tusker having to face both Ulinzi and Sofapaka in the next weeks.
Headline-grabbers: Mombasa-based Congo United are finding the going tough in their first premier league season and sit at the bottom of the standings, but a 2-1 win over popular Gor Mahia will be some consolation if they go down. Congo, ending a six-match losing streak at home, had luck on their side as a bad bounce caught out the visiting goalkeeper for the first goal and then captain Raham Salim scored the winner eight minutes from time as Gor’s wall failed to provide adequate cover for his free-kick.
Angola Girabola: One point gap at the top
Wins for both Recreativo Libolo and Kabuscorp kept up their rivalry for the title with only a point still separating the two sides and six rounds to be played. Leaders Libolo moved on to 44 points after beating Sagrada Esperanca, while Kabuscorp are one behind. InterClube, who were in action in the CAF Confederation Cup at the weekend, are third on 40 points with Petro Atletico one back with hopes of snatching the crown.
Big game: Kabuscorp recorded the biggest away win of the season with a 5-1 thrashing of Premiero Maio in Benguela. Two goals each from Sawu, who now has 11 in the league this season, and Abel Mafuila did most of the damage before the hosts got a late consolation. Four of Kabuscorp’s goals came between the start of the second half and the 61st minute.
Headline-grabbers: Angola national team forward Santana delivered the goal that kept alive Petro Atletico’s title hopes with a 1-0 win at Academica Soyo. Traditionally a difficult venue, Petro needed the win to ensure they stayed in touch with the leaders. The Girabola’s top scorer Love provided the pass for fellow international Santana to win the game.
Congo DR Super League: Shock in Lubumbashi
A single game was on the menu for the Congolese championship at the weekend, but it produced a resounding result as third-placed FC St Eloi Lupopo went down to a late goal from Racing Club Kinshasa. The match offered Lupopo a chance to go to the top of the standings alongside AS V Club, but instead they suffered a potentially mortal blow in their bid to upset the established order in the league.
Big game: It took until the 81st minute for the deadlock to be broken on the artificial surface at the Stade Kenya in Lubumbashi, but it was not the goal that the home fans were hoping for. Kambu wa Kambu shot from 18 yards out to beat the goalkeeper and deliver an unlikely away triumph for RCK, who stay on in the southern city for Wednesday’s match against reigning African champions TP Mazembe Englebert.
Headline-grabbers: RCK were never expected to make an impact on the title race, but they will be thanked by both V Club and Mazembe, who remain ahead of Lupopo in the standings and have played one game less. The gap will likely be bigger as both V Club and Mazembe play at home on Wednesday.
Zambia Super Division: Draws for leaders
Draws for both Power Dynamos and Red Arrows maintained status quo at the top of the super league standings making Konkola Blades the weekend’s biggest winners. Their slashing of Zesco United ensures that they are right back in the title race, which is now eight rounds from the finish.
Big game: Martin Daka gave Blades the lead in the first half as they hosted the champions a day after draws for the top two. The Chililabombwe-based side then consolidated their lead when Elson Mkandawire made it 2-0 in the 80th minute. Blades are now on their own in third place, three points behind the leaders.
Headline-grabbers: If Red Arrows hold the top spot and go on to win the league title, they might owe a large debt of gratitude to substitute Jeff Kapelwe. It was his last-minute equaliser that salvaged a point from a 1-1 draw for the airmen at home to Forest Rangers.
Newly crowned champions US Ouakam finish their season in midweek, but the focus in Senegal’s Ligue 1 on Wednesday will be whether Jeanne d’Arc can survive relegation. Ghana’s Premier League have set 9 October as the date for the kick-off of the new season. And finally, Rwanda will start their new league season on Saturday after champions APR FC won the pre-season Super Cup at the weekend.