ROUND-UP: Africans in La Liga week 32
La Liga’s Africans endured another frustrating weekend while few enjoyed success with their respective clubs, including Simao Junior, who was the only African to score this weekend.
Levante twice came from behind to hold Espanyol to a 2-2 draw at home. The former fielded three Africans – Nabil El Zhar, Simao Junior and Kalu Uche, with three involved in the two goals scored by the hosts. El-Zhar‘s corner in the 21st minute was headed home by Simao Junior before Nigeria’s Kalu Uche set up Victor Casadesus to salvage a point for Les Granotes with two minutes to go. However, Malian midfielder Mohammed Sissoko was an unused substitute for Levante.
A Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona were made to work hard for a 2-0 victory against Sofiane Feghouli’s Valencia. The Algerian played the entire duration of the game.
Carlos Kameni, Arthur Boka and Nordin Amrabat were given the nod by coach Javi Carcia as Malaga slumped to a not too surprising 3-1 defeat at Real Madrid. Amrabat came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute as his effort was well dealt with by veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas while Kameni had to make several saves to ensure that his team left Santiago Bernabeu not embarrassed.
Spanish born Ghanaian midfielder Inaki Williams put in a fine performance for Athletic Bilbao as they returned to winning ways with a 4-0 thumping of Mehdi Lacen and Papa Diawara’s Getafe. Lacen kept his starting position whilst Diawara came on as a second-half substitute in the 60th minute.
Manucho Gonçalves featured but drew a blank for Rayo Vallecano, who put last weeks 6-1 hammering at Celta Vigo behind them to defeat Almeria 2-0. Thievy Bifouma, Thomas Partey, Jonathan Zongo and Nigeria’s Ramon Azeez were in action for the latter.
Granada’s Isaac Success, Allan Nyom and second-half substitute Alhassane Bangoura managed to hold in-form Sevilla to a 1-1 draw at home. Stephane M’bia returned to the starting line up for Sevilla after coming off the bench in previous league games.
Eric Bailly and Ikechukwu Uche had a frustrating time with Villarreal as the Yellow Submarine were held at home by bottom club Cordoba. Nabil Ghilas and Heldon Ramos came on in the 81st and 76th minutes respectively for Cordoba.
Derek Boateng was not part of the Eibar squad that suffered a painful 1-0 loss at home to Celta Vigo.