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African players in Europe: Iheanacho’s goal-a-game streak

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his 12th goal in 12 matches in all competitions to book Leicester City a May 15 FA Cup final date with Chelsea…

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his 12th goal in 12 matches in all competitions to book Leicester City a May 15 FA Cup final date with Chelsea at Wembley.

The Nigerian struck to give Leicester a 1-0 win over Southampton in a weekend when Africans were the 55th-minute match-winners in both semi-finals.

Moroccan Hakim Ziyech netted for Chelsea in a 1-0 victory that shattered the quadruple title dreams of Manchester City.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up the performances of Africans in the major European leagues:

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)

Iheanacho kept the Foxes in the hunt for a first FA Cup trophy and a top-four Premier League finish. “The FA Cup loves me and I love the FA Cup,” said the Nigerian.

Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)

Ziyech netted with a clinical strike from Timo Werner’s pass after City keeper Zack Steffen needlessly rushed off his line to open space for the finish. The 28-year-old’s fifth goal since his move from Ajax last season sent Chelsea to their second successive FA Cup final.

Josh Maja (Fulham)

The Nigerian scored his third goal since joining on loan from Bordeaux in February, but it wasn’t enough to give struggling Fulham a valuable victory as Arsenal rescued a 1-1 draw. Maja, whose only other goals came in a win at Everton on February 14, put Fulham ahead in the 59th minute when he fired a penalty into the roof of the net after Gabonese Mario Lemina was fouled.

Musa Barrow (Bologna)

Gambian forward Barrow scored his side’s second goal after 18 minutes in a 4-1 win over Spezia to end back-to-back defeats for the mid-table side. It was Barrow’s seventh league goal since moving from Atalanta last season.

Simy (Crotone)

Nigerian Simy pulled a goal back for bottom club Crotone from the penalty spot in a 2-1 loss to Udinese for his 10th in seven straight games. He has scored 17 of his side’s 34 goals this season.

Victor Osimhen/Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

Nigerian Osimhen had a role as Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic conceded an own-goal in a 1-1 draw for the Serie A leaders against fifth-placed Napoli. Skipper Lorenzo Insigne sent Osimhen through on 36 minutes, but Handanovic intercepted only to lose control of the ball which ended in the back of his net. Senegal defender Koulibaly did well to neutralise top Inter scorer Romelu Lukaku.

Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

The Algeria left-back scored with a header as Moenchengladbach brushed past Eintracht Frankfurt in a 4-0 romp at home to move within four points of the European places. With his side 2-0 up, 26-year-old Bensebaini powered home a header for his fifth goal this season in all competitions.

Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen)

The Burkina Faso defender picked up a yellow card with a crunching tackle on Nigeria defender Kingsley Ehizibue in the first half of Leverkusen’s emphatic 3-0 home win over relegation-threatened Cologne.

Denis Bouanga (Saint-Etienne)

Gabon forward Bouanga scored for the fifth time in 10 games for club and country with the opening goal at Paris Saint-Germain. His strike put Les Verts ahead with 12 minutes to play, but PSG ended up securing a remarkable 3-2 win.

Terem Moffi (Lorient)

Nigerian striker Moffi ended a goal drought last week against Lens and backed it up with a double at Marseille. The 21-year-old has now scored 11 goals in his maiden Ligue 1 campaign, but his side still lost 3-2 to OM.

Andy Delort (Montpellier)

Algeria striker Delort’s goal for Montpellier at Lille proved enough for a 1-1 draw which allowed the league leaders’ title rivals to close the gap. Delort has netted 12 league goals this term for Montpellier, who sit eighth in the table. (AFP)


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