Esperance surge, Douala rule Cameroon
A record-equaling run of 11 successive wins has clinched the Cameroon league title for Union Douala, while Esperance are now positioned one point from the title in Tunisia, which clears the way for them to concentrate on defending their CAF Champions League title.
Cameroon Elite One: Union Douala champions once again
Union Douala have been crowned champions, reviving memories of a golden era of some three decades ago when the club were one of the strongest in Africa. A 4-1 win over New Stars put the club ten points clear with just two rounds left to play and marks their first title in since 1990 and their fifth overall. They also matched a record of 11 successive league wins set five years ago by Coton Sport, who are deposed as champions but look likely to finish second.
Big game: It took 40 minutes for Union to get into their stride but once Charles Edoa Nga scored, more goals followed soon thereafter. Joel Babanda doubled the score in the 55th minute and got another in the 71st. An own-goal barely threatened to spoil the party before Angoh Mintya made up for his mistake with a goal at the other end eight minutes from time.
Headline-grabbers: With a second Champions League berth available next year for a Cameroon side, focus now switches to the race for second-place. Coton Sport’s 1-0 win over Panthere du Nde puts them in the driving seat four points ahead with a game in hand.
Tunisia Ligue 1: Just one more point for champs
African champions Esperance are poised to extend their record number of league titles to 24 after winning at the weekend while nearest rivals CA Bizertin lost. The two clubs were neck-and-neck for most of the season, but in the last week Esperance have gone five points clear with two rounds to play. They will likely take the trophy for a fourth successive year, and the 12th time in the last 15 years, when they meet Club Africain in their derby on Wednesday.
Big game: CA Bizertin needed an away win at Etoile Sahel to keep alive any chance of staying in the title race after they had slipped at home in midweek, but their hopes were effectively punctured in Sousse when a controversial penalty was converted by Mossaab Sassi 21 minutes from time.
Headline-grabbers: Youssef Msakni scored a hat trick inside six minutes to take his season tally to 17 and give Esperance a comfortable 4-1 win over bottom-placed Gabes, who are relegated. The first came on the stroke of half-time, the second three minutes into the second half and the third three minutes after that. Elder brother Iheb had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute.
Zimbabwe Premier League: Unbeaten but not on top
Highlanders are still to be beaten in the league this season with just eight rounds left of the programme, but they still find themselves two points behind defending champions Dynamos in the title race. Dynamos, who have lost twice, have won 16 of their 22 games for a total of 52 points, passing the half-century mark at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Motor Action. Highlanders have 14 wins and eight draws from their games this season.
Big game: Dynamos kept up their lead with a narrow win, with Roderick Mutuma getting the vital goal. It was a header from last season’s top league scorer, whose tally this term now climbs to seven. “If I had not scored, someone else would have done the job,” he told reporters questioning his lack of success in front of goals this season. “It’s more about team work.”
Headline-grabbers: Highlanders had to wait until the 68th minute at home before they got a 1-0 win over Shabanie Mine to stay in contention with their arch rivals Dynamos. The return from injury of Masimba Mambare ensured the home win at Bulawayo’s Barbourfields with a rifling shot. It was as much as Highlanders deserved against the fourth-placed club.
Morocco Botola: Raja take the early lead
Raja Casablanca are the only side with a perfect record after two rounds of the new season. They won their second game by beating newly promoted Raja Beni Mellal 1-0 away. Last season’s surprise champions Moghreb Tétouan have started with two draws, the latest away at RSB Berkane, who are the other new club in the top flight.
Big game: Wydad Casablanca suffered a first defeat at last season’s runners-up FUS Rabat on Wednesday but bounced back with a 2-1 win over Olympique Khouribga at the weekend. Fabrice Ondama and Omar Najdi were the home scorers with Mohamed El Hayani pulling back a goal two minutes from time for OCK.
Headline-grabbers: Defensive midfielder Vivien Mabide scored Raja’s goal after 50 minutes to spoil a historic day for Raja Beni Mellal, hosting a game in the top flight after a ten-year absence. There was to be no celebration for the inhabitants of the Tadla-Azilal regional capital as the visitor’s Central African Republic signing made an immediate impact for his new club.
The much anticipated ‘classico’ in the DR Congo did not take place after V Club of Kinshasa refused to play TP Mazembe when the venue for the game in Lubumbashi was switched at the last moment. Tusker’s 2-0 away win at Karuturi Sports made them new leaders in Kenya but all the attention went to second placed Gor Mahia after they deposed previous leaders AFC Leopards in the Nairobi derby. USM Alger won Algeria's capital derby over Mouloudia Alger but JSM Bejaia are the team who are top of the standings.