Elfsborg win championship
Elfsborg sparked wild celebrations after they were crowned Swedish champions following a 1-1 draw with Atvidaberg on Sunday. Elfsborg finished on 59 points, two ahead of surprise runner-ups Haecken, who beat Sundsvall 2-1. Malmo finished third on 56 points, with AIK narrowly missing out on European soccer next season as they finished fourth on 55. “I feel great,” a delighted Elfsborg coach Jorgen Lennartsson told C More TV. Elfsborg started the day with a two-point lead over nearest rivals Malmo FF, who had traveled to Stockholm hoping to beat AIK and that Elfsborg would slip up, but a Stefan Ishizaki goal on the half-hour gave Elfsborg the lead, and when Malmo conceded a goal to AIK’s Mohammed Bangura after 33 minutes in Stockholm, their title challenge was all but over. Viktor Lundberg netted what was to prove the final league goal at the Rasunda stadium to give AIK a 2-0 victory. In Boras, Viktor Prodell scored an equalizer for Atvidaberg, but that could not dampen the celebrations of the Elfsborg fans.
Toure heads award list
Last year’s winner Yaya Toure heads a list of candidates for the African Footballer of the Year award, which will be announced next month, the Confederation of African Football has said. Toure is joined by fellow Ivory Coast internationals Didier Drogba and Gervinho on the 10-man shortlist. Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and the former Arsenal midfielder Alexandre Song ensure a strong representation of players who competed in England’s Premier League this year. Toure and Drogba are likely to find their toughest challenge from Morocco’s Younes Belhanda, who proved the key player in Montpellier Herault’s Ligue 1 success earlier this year. Captain Chris Katongo was the only member of the African Nations Cup winning Zambia squad that made the list, which will be cut to three before the award is made in Accra on Dec. 20.
Esperance draw with al-Ahly
Esperance of Tunisia on Sunday took a massive step toward retaining their CAF Champions League title by forcing a 1-1 draw at al-Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the final. It would even have been a bigger advantage for the Tunisian champions going into the return match in Tunis in two weeks if six-time winners al-Ahly had not fought back to draw level two minutes from time. The second leg on Nov. 17 is delicately balanced because Esperance will be without stars Harrison Afful and Sameh Derbali, who both received a booking in this encounter and so will be suspended after they accumulated two each in the competition.
Fluminense, Sao Paulo draw
Fred scored his league-leading 17th goal as Fluminense held Sao Paulo to a 1-1 draw and increased their lead over Atletico Mineiro in the Brazilian championship on Sunday. Fluminense moved closer to their second title in three years by opening a nine-point advantage with four rounds left. Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro had their chances significantly diminished after a 1-0 loss to Coritiba. Palmeiras, the team with the most national titles, are in serious danger of relegation after drawing 2-2 with Botafogo at home. Argentine striker Hernan Barcos scored both goals for Palmeiras, while Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro netted one of Botafogo’s goals. Argentine forward Juan Martinez scored in Corinthians 2-0 win over Atletico Goianiense, who were demoted to the second division following the loss.