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African players in Europe: Joy for Wissa after World Cup let-down


Paris (AFP) – A week of mixed fortunes for Democratic Republic of Congo forward Yoane Wissa ended on a high as he scored the final goal for Brentford in a stunning 4-1 Premier League triumph at Chelsea. 

The 25-year-old came off the bench to complete the rout of third-placed Chelsea four days after being part of the Congolese team eliminated from the 2022 World Cup after a 4-1 hammering in Morocco last Tuesday.

Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho was the other African scorer in the most watched domestic league in the world, nodding Leicester City ahead in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who starred in the major European leagues:

ENGLAND

YOANE WISSA (Brentford)

Wissa scored 120 seconds after his 85th-minute introduction at Stamford Bridge with a clinical close-range finish. His eighth club goal this season was the climax to Brentford’s first win over their west London neighbours since 1939.

KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester)

He bagged his seventh goal this season to open the scoring in the draw against United at Old Trafford. Iheanacho netted in the 63rd minute, meeting James Maddison’s cross with a stooping header that United goalkeeper David De Gea was unable to stop despite getting a hand on it.

SPAIN

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Barcelona)

The Gabon captain helped Barcelona to another impressive win, over Sevilla in La Liga. The striker came close to opening the scoring for Barca in the first half, but his angled shot was clawed away by Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou. Pedri’s brilliant finish from the edge of the area delivered a 1-0 victory at Camp Nou that sent Barcelona above Sevilla into second in the table for the first time this season.

ITALY

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

Koulibaly was once again key as Napoli continued their chase for a first league title in over three decades with a 3-1 win at Atalanta. Not only did the Senegal captain help Luciano Spalletti’s side hold off Atalanta’s push for an equaliser, he also launched the counter-attack which ended with Eljif Elmas sliding home the third with 10 minutes remaining.

EMMANUEL GYASI (Spezia)

Ghana forward Gyasi boosted Spezia’s chances of staying in Serie A with his last-gasp winner against Venezia. The 28-year-old bundled home in the fourth minute of added time after Niki Maenpaa pushed away Rey Manaj’s shot to lift Spezia to 14th on 32 points, 10 clear of the relegation zone.

GERMANY

TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)

The Nigeria striker bagged his 17th Bundesliga goal for Union, becoming their top scorer in Germany’s top flight, as his second-half strike sealed a 1-0 win over Cologne. When Jonas Hector was pressured into a mistake, the Cologne skipper played a back-pass to Awoniyi who knocked the ball past the advancing goalkeeper. Union remain in the hunt for a Champions League place next season.

FRANCE

ANDY DELORT (Nice)

The Algeria forward hit double digits for the season with his 10th goal in a 1-1 draw at home to fellow Champions League hopefuls Rennes. Delort headed in a cross from international team-mate Youcef Atal to give Nice the lead midway through the second half, but the hosts failed to hold on and have slipped to fifth after winning just once in five outings.

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