Africans participate in European titles galore to open the week

Some key players include Onyekuru, Bailly, Traore

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Eric Bailly of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Among Africans who are playing abroad in the beginning of the week, one that stood out was Nigerian Henry Onyekuru of AS Eupen in the Belgian Cup, who scored a goal in Eupen’s 2-0 victory over Royal Excel Mouscron. Only 19 years old, this goal further increased interest from several Premier League teams who are pursuing his services for next season.

Another African player who made an impact in the first half of this week was Ivorian Eric Bailly of Manchester United, who was a key part in stifling Southampton and keeping the score to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday. Bailly had to hold down the fort as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was resting many of his starters for the Europa League final coming up next week. But since Bailly was ejected from the semifinal last week, he is ineligible to play in the final, which made him available to lead the team yesterday.

Meanwhile, Moroccan Almamy Traore got to participate in a historic victory for Monaco, whose 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne earned them their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years. Traore made 15 appearances with the team and was a key contributor during the magical season. Defender Almamy Toure of Mali was also a member of the celebration, although he did not make an appearance in the Wednesday victory. Elsewhere, Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana, Medhi Benatia of Morocco and Mario Lemina of Gabon were part of Juventus’ third straight Coppa Italia victory, which came in a 2-0 victory over Lazio, led by Senegalese Keita Balde. Lemina did appear in the second half of the match as a substitute, while Asamoah and Benatia remained on the bench. Continuing the theme of title wins, Cape Verde striker Ze Luis was a part of Spartak Moscow’s Russian title clinching in a 3-0 victory over Terek Grozny in the club’s final home game of the season.

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