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Africa roundup: Ghana recall veteran defenders for Sudan matches

By Guardian Nigeria
02 November 2020   |   10:05 am
Ghana have brought back 30-plus defenders Harrison Afful and John Boye for home and away 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan this month.

Harrison Afful PHOTO: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ghana has brought back 30-plus defenders Harrison Afful and John Boye for home and away 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan this month.

Full-back Afful, 34, plays for Columbus Crew in American Major League Soccer and centre-back Boye, 33, for French Ligue 1 outfit Metz.

Four-time African champions Ghana top Group C with six points, three more than South Africa and Sudan, while minnows Sao Tome e Principe are pointless.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up football news from Africa at the weekend:

Ghana
Germany youth international Jamie Leweling from second-tier club Greuther Furth has received a first call-up from Ghana coach Charles Akonnor.

Lewelling is the latest of many Europe-born footballers who qualify to play for African nations because their parents and/or grandparents were born there.

Akonnor included four English Premier League players — Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp of Crystal Palace, Thomas Partey from Arsenal and Baba Rahman of Chelsea.

Morocco
Raja Casablanca midfielder Abderrahim Achchakir is convinced the Moroccan club can overcome a 1-0 deficit away to Zamalek of Egypt in the second leg of a CAF Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

“We can do it,” said the 33-year-old as he looked ahead to a match postponed twice recently because of a coronavirus outbreak in the Raja squad with 16 players testing positive at one stage.

“Raja were very unlucky to lose the first leg as we dominated possession and territory and had several genuine penalty appeals rejected.”

South Africa
Zambian Gamphani Lungu equalised for South African MTN 8 title-holders SuperSport United, who were held 1-1 by Bloemfontein Celtic in the first leg of a semi-final in rain-lashed Pretoria.

Lungu fired the ball into the net at the second attempt on 50 minutes after the visiting team failed to clear a deep cross.

Celtic captain Ndumiso Mabena stormed down the middle to put his side ahead on 15 minutes after a superb flicked pass from Victor Letsoalo.

Nigeria
Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has been included in the Nigeria squad for home and away Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone after missing recent international friendlies through injury.

The 21-year-old and English Premier League duo Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Alex Iwobi of Everton are among eight attackers selected by German coach Gernot Rohr.

Another Nigerian at Leicester, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, misses the matches in Benin City and Freetown because of an injury.

Zambia
Zesco United drew 1-1 away to Napsa Stars in Lusaka on the opening weekend of the Zambian Premier League as they seek to regain their position as the top football club in the country.

The Ndola club finished only fifth last season, missing out on qualification for the African competitions, and replaced coach George Lwandamina with Numba Mumamba.

Burundi international Laudit Mavugo levelled for Napsa after Clement Mwape netted for Zesco, who came closest to African glory in 2016 by reaching the CAF Champions League semi-finals.

Egypt
Former Al Ahly coach Rene Weiler from Switzerland will receive a $450,000 (385,000 euros) bonus for winning the Egyptian Premier League a record-extending 42nd time.

He was replaced by South African Pitso Mosimane last month after failing to agree terms for a renewal of his one-year contract with the Cairo Red Devils.

The 34-round championship finished at the weekend with Ahly amassing 89 points, 21 more than fierce rivals and runners-up Zamalek.

Zimbabwe
Four England-based Zimbabweans, whose clubs range from the Premier League to the fifth-tier National League, have been chosen for two Cup of Nations qualifiers against title-holders Algeria this month.

Marvellous Nakamba (Aston Villa) is a Premier League midfielder while defenders Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest) and Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth) are second-tier English Championship defenders.

Midfielder Kundai Benyu is with National League outfit Wealdstone and could come face to face with Algeria captain and Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez in the Group H matches.