African goals mark English Cup action
01 February 2016, 16:17
Paris - A hat-trick for Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho and goals for Bertrand Traore for Chelsea and Arouna Kone for Everton marked a prolific day for African marksmen in the English Cup at the weekend.
All three clubs made it through to the last 16 of the competition
There were goals also for African Player of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Germany (Borussia Dortmund) Cheick Diabate in France (Bordeaux) and Godfred Donsah in Italy (Bologna).
KELECHI IHEANACHO (Manchester City)
Granted a start at Aston Villa in the FA Cup, Iheanacho responded with the first hat-trick of his senior career as Manuel Pellegrini's side breezed into the fifth round with a 4-0 victory. The 19-year-old Nigerian starlet opened the scoring from close range in the fourth minute, netted an ice-cool penalty 20 minutes later and completed his treble 14 minutes from time by intercepting a sloppy back-pass from Villa's Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye and running through to slot home. He has now scored eight times this season.
BERTRAND TRAORE (Chelsea)
Burkina Faso international Traore scored his first Chelsea goal as Guus Hiddink's side cruised to a 5-1 victory away to Milton Keynes Dons of the Championship. The 20-year-old replaced Diego Costa in the 57th minute and got on the scoresheet five minutes later when he met Eden Hazard's cut-back with an assured left-foot finish.
AROUNA KONE (Everton)
Ivorian forward Kone set Everton on their way to a 3-0 success at fourth-tier Carlisle United. The 32-year-old helped Everton get over their mid-week League Cup exit at Manchester City's hands by tapping in a cross from Aaron Lennon in the second minute at Brunton Park, taking his tally for the season to seven goals.
ODION IGHALO (Watford)
Watford's goal-scoring talisman came to their rescue once again with a late goal as Quique Sanchez Flores's side won 1-0 at Championship club Nottingham Forest. The Nigeria international came off the bench in the 72nd minute at the City Ground and struck a minute from time after Forest defender Kelvin Wilson miscued a clearance, slamming home right-footed for his 15th goal of the season, and 10th in 15 games.
SOULEYMANE DOUKARA (Leeds United)
Senegalese striker Doukara broke the deadlock in the eighth minute as Leeds progressed to the last 16 by winning 2-1 at fellow second-tier representatives Bolton Wanderers. Doukara let fly with his left foot from the edge of the box and although Bolton goalkeeper Ben Amos got his body behind the ball, it squirmed through him and bounced into the net.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon striker netted twice in Dortmund's 2-0 win over Ingolstadt to leave him with 20 Bundesliga goals this season and on course to match Gerd Mueller's record of 40 in 1971/72. 'Auba' -- the African player of the year -- has reached the milestone in just 19 league games and has scored 29 times in all competitions. His Bundesliga tally means he is two goals ahead of where Bayern Munich legend Mueller was at the same stage of the '71/72 season on the way to the record.
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
The Ivory Coast veteran claimed his tenth goal of the season to put third-placed Hertha 3-1 up at Werder Bremen, only for the hosts to fight back for the draw. Kalou fired home off his right with 20 minutes left before Peru veteran Claudio Pizarro converted a penalty, then nudged home a late equaliser for Bremen as it finished in a 3-3 draw.
CHEICK DIABATE (Bordeaux)
After scoring a brace last week in the 2-2 draw with Nantes, Bordeaux's lanky striker used his aerial strength to power home a well placed header to grab the opener on the half hour of a 4-0 romp over Rennes. The Malian striker then drilled a sharp left-footed snap-shot past Rennes 'keeper Benoit Costil just after the restart to make it 2-0 and set his side up for a deservedly clear win with his fifth goal in four games.
MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
Playing in a new tactical formation can be daunting and Salah looked like a fish out of water at times as Roma coach Luciano Spalletti adopted a 3-5-2 for the visit of regional rivals Frosinone. But the Egyptian wasn't alone in struggling to adapt to Spalletti's new approach and still performed admirably under the circumstances as Roma battled to a morale-boosting 3-1 win that was inspired by Stephan El Shaarawy's maiden goal for the club after joining on loan from AC Milan.
GODFRED DONSAH (Bologna)
It is rare to be given top marks by La Gazzetta dello Sport, but Italy's leading sports daily awarded Donsah a lofty 7.5 on Sunday that left him ranked as Bologna's best player - and rightly so. The Ghanaian assisted Anthony Mounier's 12th minute opener for the hosts and then doubled Bologna's lead in the 24th minute. Sampdoria pulled level 2-2 on 80 minutes, by which time Donsah had hobbled off to be replaced by Luca Rizzo, but a last-gasp penalty by Mattia Destro secured the points for Roberto Donadoni's men.
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