Tense finish ensues in Nigeria, Highlanders march on
Zimbabwe Premier League: Leaders remain unbeaten
Highlanders look unstoppable at the top of the table, and after beating Gunners, they sit comfortably on 42 points through 18 games, having yet to lose. Behind them, the defending champions Dynamos have two matches in hand but are eight points behind after their 2-0 victory against bottom-placed team Quelaton. Monomotapa moved into third place as Shabanie Mine were beaten 2-0 at home by Motor Action.
Big game: Although Highlanders dominated their home match against Gunners, they had only a solitary Milton Ncube header to show for it. The victory in the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo keeps them on course for their first title since 2006. Not all Zimbabwean fans would be happy about a championship for ‘Bosso’ as they have been banned from continental competition and the country might only have one team in the CAF Champions League next term.
Headline-grabbers: A club with a rich history, CAPS United have fallen on hard times. They slumped to their sixth defeat in a row on the weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by relegation-threatened Black Mambas at the Morris Depot. The Harare-based team fired Irish coach Sean Connor earlier in the month, but his replacement Taurai Mangwiro was not able to provide the quick-fix sought by the club. Former CAPS player Last Chibwiro's goal in the second half gave the victory to Black Mambas, who could have made their task easier had Kasimero Chimbadzwa converted a first-half penalty.
Zambia Super League: Bankers roll on
Zanaco’s 1-0 victory against National Assembly saw the Bankers open a five-point gap at the top of the table as second placed Zesco United were held to a 1-1 draw at Roan United. Zanaco are on 44 points from their 21 games, while Zesco have 39. Defending champions Power Dynamos have fallen off the pace as a goalless draw at Forest Rangers kept them seven points adrift with nine rounds to play.
Big game: Zanaco began like a house on fire and were leading within five minute when Lewis Macha beat goalkeeper Philip Banda with a header from a Moses Phiri cross. The Lusaka-based team could have added to the score-line, but once Venacious Mapande was sent off early in the second half for a bad tackle, they concentrated on holding the score against the bottom club.
Headline-grabbers: In the Dola Hill Ground in Ndola, the defending champions Power Dynamos have now failed to find the net for 270 minutes after a solid defensive performance by the home side. Francis Kamfwa came closest for Dynamos with a powerful first-half shot that hit the post.
Angola GiraBola: Champions stay on track
Recreativo Libolo look well on their way towards defending the title they won for the first time last season, although a second consecutive draw saw them fail to extend their lead. They were held at home by Primeiro Agosto, who are second. Kabuscorp, who finished runners-up last season, are now two points behind Primeiro after their 1-0 win at Sporting Cabinda.
Big game: Kabuscorp’s Ukrainian coach Viktor Bondarenka saw his side dominate early on with Rivaldo pulling the strings in midfield. The Brazilian great has scored 10 goals this season and is second only to Primeiro's Mingo Bille in the scoring charts. A change of tactics from Sporting coach Cesar Albano saw the visitors put on the defensive, but they held firm, and it was substitute Sawu who scored the only goal of the game in the second half.
Headline-grabbers: Recreativo Libolo, who were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions League in the first round, kept challengers Primeiro Agosto at bay with a goalless draw in the Estadio Municipal de Calulo. Both sides created chances and could have scored, but in the end it was a fair result that suited the defending champions more than their pursuers.
Nigeria Premier League: Close finish guaranteed
With just one round remaining for the leaders, three teams are still in with a chance to win the league. Kano Pillars, who won their midweek game 1-0 at Akwa Stars, head the table on 64 points, while Lobi Stars who beat Enugu Rangers 3-0 midweek are on 63 points. Rangers are now third on 61, but with Pillars and Stars playing their final matches away from home, Rangers will believe they have a chance when they face Sharks at home.
Big game: Enugu Rangers are looking for their first league title in almost three decades, and they led for a good chunk of this season, but they offered little fight against Lobi as young striker Tony Okpotu scored a brace and Jonah Abutu added the third for the hosts, who will face Kano Pillars in the semi-finals of the domestic cup this week as well.
Headline-grabbers: Baba Ganaru's Kano Pillars team have put themselves in a good spot to win their second league title with Nasiru Ali’s winner a huge goal potentially. They will however have to play their final contest at Sunshine Stars, who have been impressing in the Champions League group stage even though they’ve fallen off the league pace.
In Cameroon, New Star could have climbed to second in the table, but were held to a 0-0 draw at Tiko United to remain third. In the Super Division segment of Côte d’Ivoire’s league season, Sewe Sport went top after beating Djekanou 1-0. And Tunisia's Liguq 1 will restart next week with Esperance leading the pack by a point.