Leaders pull away in Angola, Mozambique
FIFA.com takes its regular look at the action across Africa this weekend, where there was a change at the top in Algeria as the early frontrunners put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. Angola are set for an absorbing finish to their season with three rounds to play. Perennial champions ASEC Abidjan tasted rare domestic defeat in Côte d’Ivoire, while the season in Mozambique is back underway.
Algeria Premier Division: New leader
USM Alger’s 100 per cent record ended with an away defeat in the fourth round of the new season as they ceded top place to CR Belouizdad, who are looking to go all the way this season having slipped from contention in the final weeks of the last campaign. Belouizdad sit on ten points, one ahead of USMA and USM El Harrach, but the surprise of the season is seeing Entente Setif languishing at the wrong end of the table with three points from a possible 12.
Big game: Fouad Renane scored a stoppage-time winner to hand MC El Eulma a 2-1 victory over USMA. The home side had taken the lead just after half-time but USMA drew level going into the final quarter-hour when Lamouri Ben Kadda Djediat equalised from the penalty spot. CR Belouizdad’s 4-1 win over MC Oran was a more emphatic performance albeit their last two goals came in the final ten minutes in a match played behind closed doors.
Headline-grabbers: Two goals for Abbas Mohamed Aissaoui ensured USM El Harrach won their third game of the season, edging Setif at home in a five-goal thriller. There was a penalty for both sides in the second half, but Aissaoui converted the vital spot-kick in the 76th minute to condemn Setif to their third defeat of the season.
Angola Girabola: Front two pull away
The race for the title is now almost officially a two-team affair as Recreativo Libolo kept up their slender one point lead over Kabuscorp. Libolo won away at Academica Lobito while Kabuscorp edged Academica Soyo 2-1 at home. Champions Petro drew 2-2 at Santos FC and are a distant third, seven adrift, and can only keep their title if the top two falter in their final three matches.
Big game: Kabuscorp battled with the relegation threatened Soyo but eventually secured a vital win through Sawu’s goal in the 73rd minute. At the same time they had been hoping that a favour might be done for them in Lobito, but the home team, already relegated, lacked bite and easily succumbed to Libolo 2-0.
Headline-grabbers: Two goals for Love put the Angola international striker four points clear at the top of the scoring charts, but the double was not enough for Petro against Santos at Luanda’s inner-city Coqueiros Stadium. In between his efforts Devigor scored twice for Santos to claim a draw and the dropped points effectively spells the end for Petro’s hopes of holding onto the title.
Côte d’Ivoire Ligue 1: ASEC lose but stay top
ASEC Abidjan lost a league game for only the second time this season in a nine-goal bonanza with Issia Wazi, but they still have the lead in Group A and, because of their recent participation in the CAF Confederation Cup, they also have games in hand. Group B leaders Stella Abidjan are the only unbeaten side after 11 games and have accrued an impressive nine-point buffer in their section.
Big game: ASEC have ended a hectic run of fixtures in continental competition to settle back into the thrust of domestic action but received a rude welcome back in a goal feast at the Stade Regional de Daloa. Brou Kouassi got a hat-trick for Issia Wazi but the winning goal came from Marc-Olivier Ngouan deep in the second half.
Headline-grabbers: Stella’s unbeaten run continued in the derby with JCA, where they secured a 1-0 away triumph. They have seven wins and four draws in Group B and a chance now to reclaim their glory days of old.
Mozambique Mocambola: Back to normal
The league had been on hold for over a month as Maputo played host to the All-Africa Games, but the league now has a chance to regain the spotlight. Liga Muculmana have the title practically sewn up with an 11-point gap at the top after dispatching Desportivo Maputo 3-1.
Big game: The ‘classico’ of the season has little bearing this year on the title race but was still keenly awaited. The Maputo derby between Costa do Sol and Ferroviario Maputo ended in a 2-2 stalemate. The game came alive after the break with quick goals on either end, but Ferroviario looked to have it won when Clesio scored seven minutes from time. Costa do Sol’s pride was salvaged by a 91st minute goal from David.
Headline-grabbers: Liga Muculmana picked up where they left off before the break and even though second-placed Maxaquene posted a handsome 5-1 win on Saturday, the leaders showed little concern some 24 hours later with success of their own. Their dominance began as early as the tenth minute when defender Dario Khan scored the first of his two goals in the game.
Champions Berekum Chelsea lost Ghana’s Super Cup to FC Nania, who won on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
AFC Leopards beat Nairobi rivals Gor Mahia 3-0 in the only game of the Kenya Premier League at the weekend.
The league in Nigeria stayed tight as Sunshine Stars drew 1-1 with Lobi Stars and are now tied on 64 points with Dolphin FC at the top.