AFRICAN WRAP: Goals, assists and sublime goalkeeping

football01 April 2024 17:45| © SuperSport
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There were significant contributions from Africa’s legionnaires in Europe’s top leagues this past weekend with goals, assists and some sublime goalkeeping ensuring key points for the leading contenders.

There was no more significant a contribution than at Liverpool from Egyptian great Mohamed Salah as his side kept up top place in the Premier League but there were also Africans shining in LaLiga and Serie A action.


One of the best African performers in the Premier League, Kudus helped his side into a surprise 3-1 lead at St James’ Park on Saturday, only for the Hammers to lose 4-3 in the last minute of the game. Kudus scored just before halftime, putting West Ham in the lead after Alexander Isak and Michail Antonio had both found the back of the net.

The Black Stars’ attacker got on the end of Jarrod Bowen's quick free-kick and finished it off brilliantly. Kudus was not part of the Ghanaian squad that featured during the international break due to injury and the break looked to have done him a world of good as he notched up his 13th goal for West Ham to surpass the 12 that compatriot Dede Ayew scored during his time in Hammers colours.


The 31-year-old Duncan scored after 50 minutes, equalising for Fiorentina at home to AC Milan on Saturday but then three minutes later seeing Rafael Leao score to put Milan back ahead. It stayed at 2-1 for Milan to remain comfortably second in the Serie A standings while Fiorentina dropped to 10th spot.

It was Duncan’s first goal since August and expertly taken as he drove towards the edge of the Milan penalty area despite defenders converging around him, before slotting the ball perfectly into the net with a sublime left-footed finish.


Liverpool did not start brightly in Saturday’s clash at Anfield against Brighton & Hove Albion and Salah looked to struggle early on, even after skipping international duty with Egypt over the past fortnight. But he came right in the end, clinching the winning goal as the Reds completed a comeback 2-1 win and ended the weekend two points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Before that, Salah had nodded the ball into the Brighton box to allow Luis Diaz to equalise in the 27th minute. Salah’s goal came from Alexis Mac Allister’s 65th-minute through-ball for his 22nd of the season in all competitions.


The defensive prowess of the Mali skipper was all too evident at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in the Ivory Coast at the start of the year and Traore has continued his form in LaLiga, where he was pivotal in defence on Sunday as Sociedad won 1-0 at Deportivo Alaves.

It was a result that kept Sociedad in sixth spot and in contention for a place in European club competition next season. With only 31 goals conceded in 30 matches, they have the third-best defence in Spain, behind runaway leaders Real Madrid, who have conceded only 20 goals and Athletic Bilbao on 28.


French-born Tameze could well be back on the radar for Cameroon after his recent performance for Torino in Serie A. The 30-year-old midfielder has long been linked with the Indomitable Lions, having played for France at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico in 2011, but still to make a debut for Cameroon.

This season there is an increased profile for Tameze after his move to Torino from Verona. He has made 18 starts this season and was one of the reasons why Torino won 1-0 at home against Monza on Saturday to move up to ninth in the Serie A standings.


A goalless draw away at Celta Vigo kept Rayo Vallecano two points above their hosts and a total of five points above the relegation places in LaLiga, as their fight against the drop in Spain has become a tight affair.

The 25-year-old Mumin played at centre back as his side kept a clean sheet on the road for an eighth time this season. It is the second season in LaLiga for the graduate of the fabled Right to Dream Academy, who has been on the bench for the Black Stars but is still to win a first cap for his country.


The 30-year-old Senegalese midfielder was part of Senegal’s squad at the Cup of Nations finals in January and has returned to be a regular in midfield for Rayo as they battle against the danger of relegation from Spain’s top flight. He also played for Senegal in their two friendlies in the March international window.