African All Stars

Toko Ekambi, Bouaya and Kamara light up Ligue 1 with goals

4:17 AM GMT 24/05/2021
Karl Toko-Ekambi Lyon 2019-20
African players painted the French elite division with goals, albeit, their teams suffered contrasting fortunes

Karl Toko Ekambi was on song twice as Olympic Lyon bowed 3-2 to Nice on the final day of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign.

A win for the Kids could have guaranteed them a place in next season’s Champions League, however, they could only settle for a place in the Europa League after losing at home to Adrian Ursea’s men.

With just 14 minutes into the game, Toko Ekambi put his team ahead after heading past goalkeeper Walter Benitez, from a Memphis Depay cross.

That lead lasted for just 13 minutes as the hosts leveled matters through Kasper Dolberg after guiding home a pass from Pierre Lees-Melou.

Five minutes before the half-time break, the Cameroonian striker completed his brace with a simple header. Again, it was Depay who supplied the assist.

Nice stepped up their game in the second half and deservedly equalised through French midfielder of Gambian descent Hassane Kamara in the 50th minute.

Seven minutes later, Arsenal loanee William Saliba sealed victory for the visitors by heading Amine Gouiri’s free-kick past goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

At the Stade Saint-Symphorien, Farid Boulaya was on target for Metz, nevertheless, they settled for a 1-1 draw against Olympique Marseille.

With the tight encounter looking destined to end 0-0, the Algerian midfielder powered Frederic Antonetti’s men ahead from the penalty mark following a handball incident in the visitors’ box.

Almost immediately, Arkadiusz Milik ensured that the Phocaeans returned home with a point as he beat goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja from the penalty spot following a foul on Djamel Benlamri.

Elsewhere, Andy Delort helped Montpellier secure a 2-1 away win over Moses Simon’s Nantes.

The Algeria international made amends for his penalty miss in the 29th minute of the encounter by netting the winner.

Despite needing a win to avoid demotion to the French second-tier, the Yellow House got pegged down in the 30th minute courtesy of Gaetan Laborde’s strike.

That lead lasted for just three minutes before former France youth international of Congolese background Randal Kolo Muani equalised for the hosts.

14 minutes before full-time, Delort had the final say after he was set up by Elye Wahi.

Nantes will have to come through a relegation play-off to save their top-flight place.

Mali international El Bilal Toure ended the season with a goal, nevertheless, Reims suffered a 2-1 loss to Bordeaux.

The 19-year-old forward put the Red and Whites ahead in the 15th minute after he was teed up by Thomas Foket.

A minute before the half-time break, French youth international of Algerian background Yacine Adli restored parity for the Girondins.

Ghana prospect Enock Kwateng sealed victory for Jean-Louis Gasset’s men in the second half.

In another fixture, Mauritania international Aboubakar Kamara scored Dijon’s only goal as they pipped Saint Etienne 1-0 away from home.