African Leagues Team Of The Week: Bassem Boulaabi Pulls AS Kasserine Out Of Last Place

The Tunisian defender scored a lovely winner from distance to help his struggling side get a famous home win over league leaders Esperance.

Energy Murambadoro (Mpumalanga Black Aces – South Africa)

In a match where Bloemfontein Celtic were constantly in the Aces half, only one man stood tall, and that was the goalkeeper. One could be forgiven for thinking the man had a magnet in his gloves and the ball contained metal as he guarded the net superbly. He deservedly won the man of the match award. Aces are fighting relegation and they needed points, while Celtic needed points to finish in the top three. The match was virtually Bloemfontein Celtic versus Murambadoro and he came out tops ensuring a scoreless draw.

Ammar Jemal (Etoile – Tunisia)

Like he so often does, the Tunisian international centre-back scored a crucial equalising goal in his side’s away match against Olympique Beja and did so at perhaps the toughest venue in the country. His finish keeps Etoile within touching distance of second-placed Club Africain and will allow the team to prepare in much better conditions for their next encounter than if they had lost this one.

Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates – South Africa)

The Buccaneers defender was solid as a rock on Saturday during the much anticipated Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs which ended in a goalless draw, and his work in the Pirates backline helped to secure the clean sheet and a point from their bitter rivals. Hard in the tackle and deadly pushing forward, he kept Chiefs busy on the counter and from set pieces as well, while making a game-saving tackle on Abia Nale in the first half of the match.

Bassem Boulaabi (AS Kasserine – Tunisia)

Boulaabi had a fantastic outing against league leading Esperance Sportive de Tunis on Sunday. Not only did he help ensure that the defending champs’ strikers didn’t get many good looks at goal, the defender took it upon himself to strike a free kick from well over 40 yards into the net of the helpless Arbi Mejri. His team needed the points badly too as the unexpected win against the heavyweights takes ASK out of the drop zone and into 12th place in the championship.

Matthew Pattison (Mamelodi Sundowns – South Africa)

The South African international midfielder was the difference for his side in their 3-3 draw against Moroka Swallows, sending a few tricky balls into the box, scoring an early goal and creating another for Surprise Moriri. He allowed his side to turn around a 2-0 deficit and finish with honours even after 90 minutes to keep some pressure on SuperSport United at the top of the PSL table.

Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates – South Africa)

The way the youngster marshalled the Bucs midfield made him look like he has been playing in the Soweto derby for years. He kept the Kaizer Chiefs' raids at bay and covered every inch of the pitch. The 19-year-old has fitted like hand in glove in the team which is missing Benson Mhlongo. His passes and flair gave the derby some flavour.

Mahatma Otoo (Hearts of Oak – Ghana)

He did all he could for the defending league champions to win at home but his efforts were not enough. After several wasted chances, he managed to find the back of the net but referee Joseph McCarthy denied him from putting his name in the score card in the 68th minute when the goal was disallowed. The striker was brought down in the 84th minute in the penalty box but his team-mate Eric Gawu failed to utilise the chance to carry the lions’ share of the spoil.

James Omondi (Mathare United – Kenya)

The former Seychelles-based and Thika United striker James Omondi scored the goal after his team had been reduced to nine men for a deserved draw against Nairobi City Stars on Sunday and the Kenya Premier League kicked off in gusto over the weekend. City were leading by 2-1 by the 72nd minute but it took steel nerves for Omondi to equalise late in the match after his two team-mates had been sent off.

Emmanuel Okwi (Simba – Tanzania)

Emmanuel Okwi scored the third goal as Simba romped to a 4-1 drubbing of Moro United on Sunday. The striker has been on fire this season, scoring in almost all the Simba triumphs. The win over Moro edged Simba higher in the league and they are now six points away from clinching a title this season.

Hamza Messaadi (Club Africain – Tunisia)

He scored his club's second goal in the 91st minute against CA Bizertin during the 16th fixture of the Tunisian League on Saturday. Messaadi was fantastic throughout the heated encounter, which saw Club Africain narrow the lead of rival Esperance de Tunis from five to two points.

Ofosu Micky (King Faisal – Ghana)

The enterprising player initiated one of the two goals for his side on Sunday on the half-hour mark. The striker pounced on a loose ball, raced deep into the goal area of Berekum Arsenals, before letting go a well rehearsed cross which was connected home by his team-mate.