Ligue 1 Wrap: Mavididi, Gouiri, Ekitike, Onana & Kakuta paint France with goals

Several African stars were on song in the French elite division, nevertheless, their teams suffered contrasting fortunes on Sunday evening

Stephy Mavididi was on target as Montpellier defeated Saint-Etienne 2-0 in Sunday’s Ligue 1 outing.

The England youth international of Congolese origin propelled La Paillade past the Saints inside Stade de la Mosson.

Having bowed 2-1 to Lille their last time out, Olivier Dall’Oglio’s men played host to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard giants with the aspirations of returning to winning ways.

Both teams had their chances in a thrilling first half, albeit, they lacked the cutting edge in front of goal.

Nevertheless, the hosts found themselves ahead in the 32nd minute as Mavididi beautifully drilled Teji Savanier’s assist past goalkeeper Etienne Green.

Two minutes after the hour mark, Montpellier doubled their advantage through Valere Germain.

After an impressive shift, Mavidi was replaced by Yanis Guermouche in the closing stages of the encounter, while Congo’s Beni Makouana and Cameroon’s Ambroise Oyongo were not dressed for action.

Gael Kakuta

Meanwhile, DR Congo international Gael Kakuta inspired Lens to a commanding 3-2 away triumph over Bordeaux.

Unbeaten in all matches played in the 2021-22 season, the Blood and Gold travelled to Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux – aiming to continue their remarkable form.

Six minutes before the half time break, Kakuta gave his team the lead after converting a free header from Przemysław Frankowski’s defence-splitting cross.

In the 43rd minute, Facundo Medina doubled the visitors’ lead as he rose highest to head Jonathan Clauss’ corner kick past goalkeeper Benoit Costil.

The Girondins reduced their deficit on the hour mark courtesy of Ricardo Mangas before Cameroonian midfielder Jean Onana levelled matters in the 88th minute.

With the game looking destined to end on a no winner, no vanquished note, Florian Sotoca sealed Lens’ win from the penalty spot.

Nigeria internationals Josh Maja and Samuel Kalu were unavailable for Vladimir Petkovic’s men due to different reasons.

In another exciting matchup, Hugo Ekitike and N’Dri Philippe Koffi got the goals for Reims as they silenced Rennes 2-0 inside Roazhon Park to pick their first three points of the new season.

With a Europa Conference League fixture against Tottenham" 24956 target="_blank">Tottenham Hotspur on the horizon, manager Bruno Genesio started unfamiliar faces in Rennes’ starting XI and they were made to pay for that.

Twenty-six minutes into the game, Algerian star Ilan Kebbal found French teenager of Cameroonian origin Ekitike – who smartly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Romain Salin.

Kebbal turned provider again in the 67th minute for Ivorian prodigy Koffi who was netting his first goal of the season.

Also, Moussa Dembele was on target as Olympique Lyon subdued Strasbourg 3-1 at the Groupama Stadium.

The former France youth international who is eligible to represent Mali at senior level put the Kids ahead in the eighth minute before Jason Denayer and Lucas Paqueta compounded the visitors’ woes in the second half.

With barely the last kick of the game, former Central African Republic international Habib Habibou scored the Racers’ only goal from the penalty mark.

In other matches, Amine Gouiri registered his name on the scorer’s sheet as Nice picked up a 2-0 away win versus Nantes – who had Nigeria international Moses Simon in action for 87 minutes.