Saint George crowned, challengers charge
Saint George finished the season in Ethiopia as champions again, while other leagues playing through the summer edged towards the half-way mark with drama at the top.
DR Congo Division 1: V Club take over
Kinshasa’s AS V Club went back to the summit as they beat visiting OC Bukavu Muungano 3-1 at the Stade des Martyrs. They moved to 34 points, three ahead of TP Mazembe, who lost in the CAF Champions League over the weekend but now have a game in hand in the early stages of their defence of their domestic title.
Big game: V Club got off to the perfect start in front of their usual passionate crowd with Tady Etekiama’s third-minute goal. But by half-time the co-leaders were looking vulnerable as Muungano had equalised through Masuaka. V Club coach Medard Lusadisu made two key changes at half-time and both Eddy Ngoy and Jerome Basilwa set up goals for Ilifo Ilonga and Diego Mutombo to seal success.
Headline-grabbers: Daring Club Motema Pembe’s attempt to keep up with the leaders were stymied in Goma when their game against DC Virunga had to be halted. The visitors from Kinshasa scored in the first half, prompting a pitch invasion by the home supporters and a decision to call off the game, which leaves Motema Pembe on 27 points.
Kenya Premier League: Leopards lurking
Draws for the top two teams shrunk the gap with the chasing pack and set up the second half of the season for a potentially rollicking campaign. Both leaders Tusker and second-placed Sofapaka were held at the weekend, allowing AFC Leopards to move to within reach of the top spot. They have a fixture in hand next Friday and if they win that will go above Tusker.
Big game: Bernard Mang’oli scored his first goal of the season for Leopards as they won 1-0 away in Gusli against Sony Sugar. It came just before the half-hour mark. Hero of the game, for a second successive outing, was new signing Paul Were, who provided the assisted for Mang’oli after last week netting a debut goal against Sofapaka.
Headline-grabbers: Tusker needed a late goal to salvage a draw away at Chemelil with Frederick Onyango scoring in the 87th minute after the home team had opened the scoring with a 22nd minute goal from Jared Obwoge. The unconvincing performance has Kenyan media speculating over Tusker’s chances as they head off to compete in the East and Central African Club Championship.
Mozambique MocamBola: Leaders derailed
Ferroviario Maputo remain leaders in the MocamBola but an away draw at Ferroviario Beira in the ‘railway’ derby has seen their lead cut to four points. The game ended goalless to allow both Maxaquene and Chibuto to cut into their lead. Both clubs are on 21 points after respective wins. Maxaquene beat Liga Muculmana 2-1 while Chibuto had a much more convincing win over Ferroviario Nampula.
Big game: Maxaquene took advantage of a change in leadership at defending champions Liga Muculmana and won 2-1 at the weekend. The departure of Arnaldo Salvado, for decades the most successful coach in Mozambican football, came after a miserable start to the season and it was extended again at the weekend. Maxaquene led early through fullback Gabito, and Eusebio made it 2-0 after 50 minutes before Liga got a late consolation.
Headline-grabbers: Fullback Barrigana had a chance to win the match for Ferroviario Beira but hit his 68th-minute penalty over the crossbar to the great relief of the league leaders. The team from the capital were under constant pressure from their hosts, for whom Maninho was in top form on the wing, in a hotly contested game with national team goalkeeper Kapagano on his toes throughout.
Ethiopia Premier League: St George win a 10th title
St George had already made sure of their 10th league title with two matches left in the season but went into party mode over the weekend to celebrate another successful campaign, even though they lost their last game of the campaign against EEPCO. It mattered little as the team were handed the trophy at the end of a season in which they finished four points clear of second club Dedebit.
Big game: For St George, the loss was just their third in 26 games, and it also insured that EEPCO finished in third. St George’s players rode on the shoulders of supporters after the trophy hand over, and Brazilian coach Danilo Piloggi was all smiles at the end of his first season.
Headline-grabbers: Ethiopian football suddenly finds itself in a happy place after the successful completion of the season and success for both the men’s and women’s national teams. After years of frustration, domestic media is now leading a clarion of celebratory calls for the achievements of the nation in recent FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers and the women’s team, headed to the African championship later this year.
Tevragh Zeina secured the Mauritania title by a single point from FC Nouadhibou despite losing their last game of the season.
Recreativo Libolo’s unbeaten record continued in the GiraBola in Angola stretched now to 16 games after they beat Sagrada Esperanca.
Coton Sport have been knocked off top spot in Cameroon by Panthere du Nde, who won 4-0 at home to YOSA.