Paris: Nigerian teenager Kelechi Iheanacho ended his maiden English Premier League season by scoring the goal that effectively ensured UEFA Champions League football for Manchester City.
City drew 1-1 at Swansea City, whose equaliser came from Ghanaian Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew, to leave them fourth behind Leicester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Other Premier League African scorers were Senegalese Sadio Mane of Southampton and Mame Biram Diouf of Stoke City.
SADIO MANE (Southampton)
Mane scored one goal and set up another as the Saints ensured there would be European football at St Mary’s next season with a 4-1 win over FA Cup finalists Crystal Palace. He gave the south-coast club the lead shortly before half-time, making no mistake with an easy chance after Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni failed to deal adequately with a Ryan Bertrand cross. The Senegal winger helped make it 3-1 when he launched another attack and was brought down. The challenge appeared to take place outside the area before Mane fell inside, but referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty and Bertrand placed the 75th-minute spot-kick beyond Speroni.
KELECHI IHEANACHO (Manchester City)
Helped ensure Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini bowed out avoiding defeat by scoring an early opening goal in a 1-1 draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. The 19-year-old Nigeria striker, who scored 14 goals in his breakthrough season, tapped the ball past Kristoffer Nordfeldt in the fifth minute after the Swedish goalkeeper had distinguished himself with a smart save to deny Sergio Aguero.
ANDRE AYEW (Swansea)
The Ghana midfielder grabbed a share of the spoils for Swansea when, in first-half stoppage time, his 25-yard free-kick was diverted by the head of Fernando and beyond wrong-footed City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
MAME BIRAM DIOUF (Stoke)
It looked as if the Potters would end the season with a draw before the Senegal striker had the decisive say in a 2-1 win at home to West Ham United that left the Hammers needing Manchester United to beat Crystal Palace in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley if they are to qualify for Europe. There were just two minutes of normal time left when Diouf headed in a corner from fellow substitute Charlie Adam.
CHRISTIAN ATSU (Malaga)
Ghanaian winger Atsu brought his loan spell from Chelsea to an end in style with his second goal for the club and first since his debut in February as Malaga thrashed Las Palmas 4-1 on the final day of the season.
FRANCOIS KAMANO (Bastia)
Exciting Guinean forward Kamano, who recently turned 20, scored both goals for Bastia in their 2-1 victory at Rennes. In doing so he doubled his goal tally for the campaign and helped his club secure a top-half finish.
JEAN-MICHAEL SERI (Nice)
The diminutive Ivorian midfielder completed an excellent debut campaign in France with a goal as Nice won 3-2 at Guingamp to secure fourth place and Europa League qualification. Signed from Pacos de Ferreira in Portugal last summer, Seri, 24, is likely to be the subject of interest from elsewhere this close season but Nice will be determined to keep him.
BENJAMIN MOUKANDJO (Lorient)
The Cameroon international forward scored the only goal as Lorient ended their season with a 1-0 win at home to Gazelec Ajaccio, who were relegated. Moukandjo finished the campaign with 13 goals, his best return in almost a decade in France. However, after a superb start to the season following his move last summer from Reims, Saturday’s goal was only his second since the end of November.
SAID BENRAHMA (Angers)
The 20-year-old Algerian winger came off the bench and seconds later scored a stunning goal that put Angers 2-1 up against Toulouse in a game they eventually lost 3-2. It was Benrahma’s first goal since signing on loan from Nice in January. He will now return to his parent club.
AISSA MANDI (Reims)
The France-born Algerian international defender scored the opening goal as he captained Reims to a 4-1 win against Lyon on the final day. However, the win was not enough to keep Reims in Ligue 1. Mandi, a 24-year-old who came through the ranks at Reims, is likely to move on this summer with other Ligue 1 clubs credited with an interest in the player who can perform in central defence and as a full-back.
PAPY DJILOBODJI (Werder Bremen)
The Senegal defender, on loan from Chelsea, kept Werder Bremen in Germany’s top flight by scoring a dramatic 88th-minute goal to seal their 1-0 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt to catapult his team from 16th to 13th — and safety. Claudio Pizarro won a header from a free-kick, Nigeria’s Anthony Ujah fired a shot across goal and Djilobodji stabbed the ball over the line. Ujah was then booked for ripping off his shirt in celebration. Djilobodji’s goal marked the end to a turbulent week for the international, who is being investigated by state prosecutors for making a cut-throat gesture at an opponent during a Bundesliga game in March.
ERIC CHOUPO-MOTING (Schalke 04)
The Cameroon forward netted Schalke’s second goal in a 4-1 rout of hosts Hoffenheim after converting a superb pass from Indomitable Lions team-mate Joel Matip. The result means Schalke finished fifth and will play in the Europa League next season.