BY KEVIN MAPASURE
THE Premier League in England is the most followed European league among Zimbabwean football fans, but French giants Lyon have suddenly become everyone’s second favourite team as striker Tino Kadewere continues to shine on the big stage.
On Wednesday night, Kadewere was at it again, providing an assist and scoring one for his team, which cruised to a 3-0 win over Nantes in a league match.
It was another big night for Zimbabwean football as Marshal Munetsi, in the same league but turning out for Stade Reims, also made it on the score sheet in their 3-1 win over Bordeaux away from home.
It was Munetsi’s first goal for his club this season, hitting the back of the net five minutes later after being introduced in the 83rd minute to put the result of the match beyond doubt.
While the spotlight has been on Kadewere, Munetsi has also been flying the country’s flag high, having made 14 appearances for his side in the league alone.
Kadewere has simply become the mainstay for Lyon, proving his worth one match after the other.
At the time that he was signed, there were doubts among some that he would be able to command a regular starting berth considering the calibre of strikers that Lyon already had.
But he has cemented his place in a front three that also includes Toko Ekambi and captain Memphis Depay.
In 16 appearances in the league so far, Kadewere has scored seven goals with three assists to his name.
Lyon have leapt to the top of the Ligue 1 log by virtue of a goal difference over second placed Lille, while champions PSG sit third, a point behind.
Kadewere’s mission is to lead his side back into the Uefa Champions League after they missed out on the current edition following a poor last term.
His coach Rudi Garcia was pleased with the performance and result against Nantes on Wednesday night.
“We had a good game, seriously. The Nantes goalkeeper prevented us from running up the score. I am satisfied with the defensive work done by the team. Everything that needed to be done had to be done to do better than Lille,” he said.
“We have taken top place, and the guys deserve it. We have been working on this for eight months. It’s something that gives great satisfaction. We are delighted. We will have to continue like this from the start of the new year. We can be proud of what we are doing.”