Welcome to Spirit of Mirko’s first ever weekly review of African football. It’s likely to be skewed somewhat towards the more obscure, it’ll be an interesting experiment nonetheless. I hope you enjoy it.
Team of the Week
Africa Team of the Week
In goal we have Joslain Mayebi who plays for Wrexham of the Conference National (fifth-tier in England). Despite his relatively lowly position in the pyramid he’s hoping for a Cameroon call-up. His side are currently looking to re-enter league football and are second to leaders Fleetwood Town. They beat Hayes & Yeading 4-1 at the Racecourse last weekend with Mayebi between the sticks.
Experienced Tunisian defender Karim Haggui scored the opening goal for his club Hannover 96 in a 4-2 victory over VFB Stuttgart in the Bundlesliga on Sunday. It was the former Etoile du Sahel player’s second goal of the season.
Rwandan defender Edwin Ouon played and scored for AEL Limassol in a 2-0 victory over Ermis in Cyprus last weekend. The victory has consolidated the club’s lead at the top of the Cypriot league and a possible chance of Champions League football.
In defence the only way is Essex for Bilel Mohsni who scored Southend United’s only goal of the game against Crewe Alexandra. The Tunisian‘s goal has put the Shrimpers top of League Two (fourth tier) in England. He and his Congolese team-mate Jean-Paul Kalala are in with a good shout of being promoted with the Essex side this term.
Despite his retirement from international football it’s hard to ignore Kevin Prince-Boateng‘s marvellous goal for Milan against Arsenal in the Champions League during midweek. Fans across the world have sat back and wondered how the Ghanaian talent ever played for Portsmouth…
Panathanikos midfielder Simão Mate Júnior scored in the Greek side’s 2-0 victory over Ergotelis. The Mozambique international is a seasoned campaigner in Greece having joined the Athens club in 2007.
After an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful Africa Cup of Nations Moroccan playmaker Younès Belhanda returned to Montpellier and played in a top of the table clash in Ligue 1 against (and I believe I’m contractually obliged to write this) money-bags PSG. Belhanda scored in an entertaining 2-2 draw, Montpellier’s other goal was scored by Nigerian star John Utaka.
Another player returning to France after Africa Cup of Nations duty was former Leeds United winger Max Gradel. The Ivory Coast winger quickly got back into the swing of things at St.Etienne scoring the club’s fourth goal (to no reply) against Stade Rennes.
Stand out performance of the week came in Bundesliga 2 where Algerian striker Karim Matmour scored a hat-trick for Eintracht Frankfurt against city rivals FSV Frankfurt in a stunning 6-1 victory.
Other African strikers doing the business in Europe this week included Guinea‘s Abdoulaye Diallo who scored a late winner in Monday night’s Ligue 2 clash for leaders Bastia against fallen giants AS Monaco. Diallo scored twice against Botswana in Guinea’s 6-1 victory over Bostwana in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Completing the team is Mouhamadou Habibou who hails from Central African Republic. He scored a brace against Standard Liege in a surprise 4-2 victory for his side Zulte Waragem.
African Club of the Week
The African Champions League re-started this week so it seems appropriate to present this inaugural award to a side competing in the competition. With that in mind it’s very hard to look past Angolan champions CRD Libolo who defeated South African giants Orlando Pirates 3-1 in Johannesburg. Orlando Pirates were expected to put up a strong challenge for the African Champions League this season after signing both Benni McCarthy and more recently Luis Boa-Morte. However it appears that they are likely to fall at the first hurdle. It will take an outstanding performance in Angola to turn this tie around.
Other notable performances in the Champions League came from Chadian side Foullah Edifice who held the Algerian side JSM Béjaia to a goalless draw. This may seem like an unspectacular result on first inspection, but Tourbillon of Chad lost 10-0 at the same stage last season to Raja Casablanca.
Congratualtions to CRD Libolo of Angola and Foullah Edifice of Chad for upholding both nation’s footballing pride.
Quote of the Week
“One of my good friends told me that a prostitute and the devil had a baby and named it football. This game is unpredictable but that is why I love football so much”
– Milutin Sredojevic, Rwanda coach