Football - African performances in European leagues

Football - African performances in European leagues

Europe's top five leagues and elsewhere on the continent, many African players are shining, sometimes in the least publicized leagues. Each week, Sport News Africa takes stock of the situation.

Ibrahima Koné, the 22-year-old Malian striker from Sarpsborg 08, put in a remarkable performance in Norway on the 17th day of the league. The former CO Bamako player scored four goals in his club's 5-0 win over Sandefjord .

Kone scored all four of his goals in the first half (15th, 22nd, 28th, 45th+6), adding to the glory of his achievement. Senegal's Alioum Ndour scored one of Haugesund's three goals (8th) against Brann Bergen (3-1), while Tunisian Amor Layouni helped Vaalerenga (7th) beat Stabaek (3-1).

In Slovakia, another African player took the front pages with a hat-trick. Nigerian Ezekiel Henty scored three of the four goals for Slovan Bratislava (1st) against Zlate Moravce (4-1) on the 5th day of the championship. Elvis Mashike Sukisa of Congo converted a penalty as fifth-placed Senica beat Liptovsky Mikulas 2-1.

In Serbia, Cape Verde's Ricardo Gomes scored twice as first-placed Partizan Belgrade beat Radnicki Nis 4-0. Also in Eastern Europe, in Ukraine (matchday 6), Burkinabe Lassina Traoré scored the only goal for Shakhtar Donetsk (2nd) at FC Minaj (1-1), while Ghanaian Raymond Owusu helped Zorya (7th) to a 1-0 win over Vorskla.

In Romania, league leaders CFR Cluj easily beat Steaua Bucharest 4-1, with Algerian Billel Omrani scoring.

In Moldova, fourth-placed Sheriff Tiraspol, who have qualified for the Champions League group stage, beat Zaria Balti 2-0 thanks to goals from Ivorian Nadrey Dago and Guinean Momo Yansane. Ghana's Suraka Zakaria scored in Rudar Pljevlja's 2-1 win over Mornar in Montenegro (matchday 6).

In Hungary (matchday 5), Ferencvaros (7th) dominated Debrecen (4-2), thanks to a penalty from Moroccan Ryan Mmaee and a goal from Tunisian Aïssa Laidouni.

In Belarus, on the 21st day of the championship, Isloch (9th) drew at BATE Borisov thanks to two penalties converted by Ghanaian Daniel Sosah.

In Estonia, Ghanaian Abdul Yusuf and Deabas Owusu Sekyere, who play for second-placed Paide Linnameeskond, each scored a goal against FC Kuressaare (4-1). Their compatriot Ernest Agyiri opened the scoring for first-placed FCI Levadia, who beat Nömme Kalj 2-1.

In Finland, Cameroon's Ariel Thierry Ngueukam (SJK, 3rd) scored twice against Haka (4-0). Sierra Leone's Kei Ansu Kamara did the same for sixth-placed HIFK Helsinki in their 3-0 away win at Honka, while Senegal's Macoumba Kandji helped fifth-placed FC Lahti to a 1-1 draw in Oulu.

In Northern Ireland, Congolese Christy Manzinga scored twice to give Linfield FC a 2-0 win over Crusaders in their season opener.

In Switzerland (day 5), Malian Ousmane Diakité (St. Gallen, 5th) scored one of his team's three goals against FC Zurich (3-3). In the league

In Portugal, 18th-placed Belenenses earned a point against Moreirense thanks to Nigerian striker China Akas, while Ivorian Koffi Kouao helped 13th-placed Vizela hold off Boavista (1-1).

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - MARCH 8 : Tarik Tissoudali forward of Beerschot celebrates after scoring 

In Luxembourg, where the fourth round of matches were played, Congolese Yann Mabila (two goals) and Malian Mana Dembélé helped fourth-placed Racing FC Union Luxembourg to a 3-2 win at Wiltz. Swift Hespérange (3rd) easily beat Etzella Ettelbrück (5-2), with a goal from Senegalese Hamidou Séné. Finally, Mondorf-les-Bains (7th) got a draw at Rodange (1-1) thanks to Dylan Kuete from Cameroon.


In the Netherlands (day 3), FC Utrecht (3rd) dominated Feyenoord Rotterdam (3-1), with a goal from Malian Moussa Sylla.


In Belgium, Pape Habib Gueye scored again for fourth-placed Kortrijk, who were held to a 2-2 draw by FC Mechelen. In the other game, ninth-placed La Gantoise crushed FC Brugge 6-1, and Moroccan striker Tarek Tissoudali, who has been very effective since the start of the season, proved it again by opening the scoring.

In Turkey (matchday 3), African players shone. The Nigerian Anthony Nwakaeme enabled Trabzonspor (1st) to win at Giresunspor (1-0). In Istanbul, Senegal's Mame Baba Thiam gave seventh-placed Kayserispor a valuable win over Basaksehir (1-0).

The Congolese Britt Assombalonga scored for Adana Demirspor (15th) against Konyaspor (1-1), while Ghanaian Benjamin Tetteh scored one of the two goals for Yeni Malatyaspor (7th) against Gaziantep FK (2-0). Finally, Hatayspor (9th) crushed Alanyaspor (5-0), with a goal from Malian Adama Traoré, one from Moroccan Ayoub El Kaabi and one from Liberian Mohammed Kamara.


Philemon MBALE

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