Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been shortlisted for the African player of the year along with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 01 January 2019
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Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

CAIRO: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are the three finalists for the African player of the year award in a repeat of last year’s shortlist.
The winner will be announced on Jan. 8 in Dakar, Senegal.
The Confederation of African Football announced the finalists on Tuesday from an original list of 34 players.
Egyptian international Salah is the current holder of the award after his goals played a large part in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final in 2018. Mane of Senegal finished ahead last time of Gabon’s Aubameyang, who was then with Borussia Dortmund.
This is the fifth straight nomination for Aubameyang, who won in 2015.
After a slow start to the season following the World Cup, Salah is hitting top form for Liverpool. He scored the winner against Napoli in December to send Liverpool through to the last 16 of the Champions League at the Italian club’s expense.
Salah has also found his scoring touch again in the Premier League, where he is challenging Aubameyang and Tottenham’s Harry Kane at the top of the scoring charts.
Aubameyang scored his 14th goal of the season Tuesday in Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Fulham, putting him one clear of Salah ahead of Liverpool’s match at Manchester City on Thursday.
Mane, who was third in 2016, is looking to becoming the first Senegalese winner of the trophy since forward El Hadji Diouf took the 2002 award.


Le Fondre pounces to earn Sydney vital point

Updated 23 April 2019
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Le Fondre pounces to earn Sydney vital point

  • The stalemate leaves all to play for in Group H

SHANGHAI: “Fantastic” journeyman forward Adam le Fondre pounced to earn Sydney FC a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The stalemate leaves all to play for in Group H with two rounds of matches to play after table-toppers Ulsan were held 2-2 at Kawasaki Frontale.

Chinese champions SIPG, for whom Brazilian forward Hulk was a constant menace, came back from a goal down to lead 2-1.

But the 32-year-old le Fondre displayed his enduring predatory instincts to grab a classy leveller on 62 minutes.

The striker, who is at his ninth club and has had spells at Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, popped up with a bullet header on the six-yard box.

“He’s a fantastic person, first and foremost, and a fantastic player,” said Sydney coach Steve Corica, who knows his team will almost certainly need to win their last two matches to progress to the knock-out rounds.

Corica, formerly a player at Leicester City and Wolves, was full of praise for the evergreen le Fondre, who moved to Australia from Bolton in August 2018.

“He’s played in England, played in the Premier League, scored goals wherever he’s gone,” said Corica.

“He works extremely hard for our team and in the A-League has scored 16 goals (this season), and he’s scored in the Champions League.

“He’s been fantastic for our club and the way he’s played this year.”

Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale gave themselves a qualification lifeline as they fought back from a goal down at home with nine minutes remaining to draw 2-2 with South Korea’s Ulsan.

Leandro Damiao fired home an 81st-minute equalizer to revive Frontale’s fading hopes of progress to the last 16.

Star striker Yu Kobayashi opened the scoring for the home side, but the Koreans struck back twice before half-time through Park Yang-woo and Junior Negrao.

Kawasaki piled on the pressure toward the end with Kobayashi guilty of the miss of the match in the second minute of stoppage time when he found himself unmarked with the goal gaping, but somehow hit the post.

Ulsan top a tight Group H on eight points, with SIPG on five, Kawasaki on four and Sydney still just about alive on three points.

Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by an under-strength Melbourne Victory.

The former two-time Asian champions dropped to second in Group F after Huang Bowen’s 24th-minute strike was canceled out by Jai Ingham’s goal two minutes later. Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima took advantage of the Chinese giants’ slip-up to go top on nine points with a 1-0 win at Daegu FC in South Korea, courtesy of Hayato Araki’s 34th-minute winner. With Daegu just a point behind Guangzhou, Cannavaro’s men now face a pivotal clash in Hiroshima in two weeks before the group finale against the Koreans on May 22.