African Football League Round-up
Africans across all three Football League divisions were on the scoresheets this weekend for their respective teams, as clubs get stuck into the business end of the season.
On Friday night it was Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Nouha Dicko who gave the host’s the lead three minutes after the break, turning before drilling in a left-footed shot, with two kind deflections on the way. The Mali international had gone close 13 minutes before the break and just before Wolves doubled their lead on 69 minutes. Bakary Sako saw his effort from outside the box saved on the hour mark, before blazing over into added time. Benik Afobe‘s powerful shot had earlier been denied, before being caught offside with five minutes to go.
Moses Odubajo stole Brentford a late point at home to Millwall in their 2-2 draw in added time, with Toumani Diagouraga having already attempted to set his fellow African up on 10 minutes. Odubajo caught ahold of Sid Nelson’s clearance, before firing in from 10 yards. Had Diagouraga managed to convert his effort a minute before Millwall’s opener, it could have been a different story for Brentford, as Nadjim Abdou‘s Millwall continue to fight relegation.
Algeria international Adlene Guedioura‘s 25-yard strike was Watford’s best chance of the first-half at home to Ipswich Town, having blazed wide early on and saw another shot blocked. He again tried to test Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski with a tight angled effort before the chance of the match for Watford fell to Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian striker turned and shot, but narrowly missed the goal, having seen two chances go begging in the first half. It was to end 1-0 to the visitors, Ipswich.
Middlesbrough’s 3-0 loss away to Bournemouth was not helped by the penalty conceded by Ghana international Albert Adomah on 73 minutes. He had failed to test the Boro keeper early on, before he allegedly committed a foul in his own box to gift the Cherries their second penalty of the game.
Rudy Gestede could have levelled for Blackburn Rovers in their 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, seeing his header go wide on the hour, before another header was saved two minutes later.
Over in League One it was on-loan Barnsley forward Jabo Ibehre, who scored his first goal for the club, getting an important goal in their 1-1 draw with high-flying Preston North End, as they continue to push for a play-off place. Ibehre headed home a pin-point cross from the six-yard box on 79 minutes, as Lee Johnson’s men build up a good run of form.
Peterborough United defender Gabriel Zakuani came close to producing a bit of magic of his own, nearly doubling his side’s lead over Chesterfield, but dragged his shot just wide of the post. However, it was less of a happy afternoon for Tendayi Darikwa, who went down an injury before, travelling home without any points, despite a decent display, ending Peterborough 1-0 Chesterfield.
Into League Two African duo Kelvin Etuhu and Adam El-Abd rescued promotion-chasing Bury, having gone behind to Northampton Town after ten minutes. Etuhu put Bury level in the second-half with a 20-yard strike, before El-Abd stole the points in the final minute, with a header in a 2-1 win.
Ismail Yakubu took just over a minute to register a shot on target for Newport County at Plymouth, but was unable to help his side onto a win in their goalless draw. Despite going down injured on 30 minutes, the Nigerian was able complete the full 90.
Tranmere Rovers’ Kayode Odejayi produced a sensational 25-yard volley to halve Rovers’ 2-0 deficit at home to Burton Albion to make it 2-1, before seeing a penalty he had won, saved. On 61 minutes he saw his header go narrowly wide, to level the scores. But ultimately his side’s poor display paid the price, going on to lose 4-1 to the league leaders.
And finally, Adebayo Akinfenwa was unlucky to not double AFC Wimbledon’s advantage at home to Portsmouth, with his header from a corner striking the bar. But little did it matter, as his side won 1-0 and leaped above the day’s opponents by one place and three points.