Gaps open at top in Cameroon, Zambia
Gaps are beginning to appear in key races across Africa as Panthere Nde consolidated their new lead in Cameroon and Zanaco went six points clear in Zambia. In Angola, champions Recreativo Libolo continue their unbeaten run while ASEC Abidjan are the early leaders in Côte d’Ivoire’s super division
Cameroon Elite One: New faces in front
Panthere Nde won 2-0 away at bottom-placed Scorpion Bey to keep up top place in the standings. The unfashionable provincial side are two points ahead of Union Douala and four clear of defending champions CotonSport, who have a game in hand on Wednesday away at Renaissance Ngounu. Panthere took over the leadership last weekend from Coton, who have enjoyed a long-standing monopoly on the club scene in Cameroon.
Big game: New Stars Douala traveled to the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium to trounce local favourites Canon Yaounde 3-1. Former Canon fullback Thierry Medjo Ntye opened the scoring with a left-footed cracker after 25 minutes, followed quickly by a second from Julien Tobie Ebah. It was 3-0 before half-time when Thierry Nloga Makon converted a penalty. FIFA World Cup™ veteran Pierre Wome reduced the score for Canon from the spot in the second half.
Headline-grabbers: Charles Edoa Nga and Martin Yon Loa scored the goals as Union Douala went above champions Coton Sport into second place after their 2-0 win over Njalla Quan Sport Academy. Union, coached by ex Cameroon international Bonaventure Djonkep, are former African champions, but they won the last of their four Cameroon championships in 1990.
Côte d’Ivoire Ligue 1: ASEC in early lead
ASEC Abidjan, record winner of 24 titles in the Ivorian championship, have taken the early lead after a home win over Jeunesse Club Abidjan at the weekend. In the only other game of the six-team league, which is the second part of the season when the top three teams in the two-section league come together to decide the title, USC Bassam drew with Stella Adjame.
Big game: ASEC started the ‘super division’ with a 1-1 draw at Bassam last weekend, but the win over JCA has them in the lead by a single point. Samba Diabate scored the only goal of the game after 16 minutes, his winning effort set up by the individual efforts of Iddi Ganiyu.
Headline-grabbers: The furor over the failure of defending champions Africa Sports to qualify for the super division continues to create headlines. They are seeking legal redress to participate in the competition but were sanctioned for alleged use of an illegally registered player.
Angola GiraBola: Libolo in runaway form
Recreativo Libolo have extended to 17 matches their unbeaten run this season and to nine points their comprehensive lead. They won again at the weekend, this time away at struggling Academica Soyo, to move to 43 points, well ahead of Primeiro Agosto and increasingly within touching distance of retaining their championship.
Big game: Libolo’s players did the business but received little praise for their effort after a workmanlike performance. Academica had two players sent off in the match while Vado of Libolo also got his marching orders. Dario scored the game’s only goal, ten minutes before half-time, in front of 10,000 in Soyo where Academica have won only once this season in the league.
Headline-grabbers: Nacional Benguela won only their second game of the season but remain bottom of the standings. The 2-1 home triumph over Progresso Sambizanga ended a winless streak of seven games since April. Ndan and Pedro Henriques scored the goals that brought the team back from behind after ex-Zambia international Ian Bakala scored first for the visitors.
Zambia Super League: Zanaco make big move
There were three points separating Zanaco and Zesco United before their weekend meeting, but now there are six as the former won 2-1 in the top-of-the-table clash to open up a decent lead at the start of the second half of the super league season. Power Dynamos also slipped in the chase as they were held to a goalless draw at home by Green Eagles and stay third.
Big game: Zanaco have won five championships in the last ten years and are on course for another after Lewis Macha and Henry Banda got the goals at the Sunset Stadium in Lusaka. Jackson Mwanza scored a consolation and then had a late effort ruled offside.
Headline-grabbers: Former Zambia captain Fighton Simukonda, who led Zanaco to previous titles, is back coaching in the league, this time at the helm of Nchanga Rangers. He got his new club off to a winning debut at home to relegation-threatened National Assembly with Danny Chama, Aubrey Funga and Alex Ngonga scoring in the 3-1 win in Chingola.
Sporting Praia won the championship in the Cape Verde Islands for a record 11th time with an away-goals win in the play-off final against Atletico Sao Nicolau. Tunisia’s Ligue 1 will resume on 24 August after Ramadan with six rounds of matches to be played. AFC Leopards have taken over as leaders in Kenya after beating Nairobi City Stars in their weekend derby.