The FA Cup third round in England gave lesser known Africans a chance to shine at the weekend as no established Premier League stars scored.

Former top-flight striker Rudy Gestede of Benin scored to put Middlesbrough on the path to victory over Sunderland in a clash of second-tier clubs.

Internationals Ola Aina of Nigeria and Ousseynou Cisse of Mali netted the goals that took lower league sides Hull City and MK Dons respectively into the round-of-32 draw.


RUDY GESTEDE (Middlesbrough)

Gestede was on target for Middlesbrough as they beat Sunderland 2-0 to progress to the fourth round. “I was injured for three months but now I’m back playing, and it’s a good feeling as a striker to score — it gives you confidence for the rest of the game,” he said.

OLA AINA (Hull City)

Nigeria defender Aina, on loan from Chelsea to Hull, scored the first goal of his professional career in a 1-0 win against Blackburn Rovers. “Delighted with our FA Cup win, buzzing to have got my first senior goal,” he tweeted.


Giant Mali midfielder Cisse netted his first goal of the season for third-tier MK Dons against QPR to seal a 1-0 victory.



The Moroccan defender, who has spent much of his life in Spain, scored Betis’ second goal in a remarkable La Liga derby clash away to Sevilla. His header from a Joaquin free-kick made it 2-1 to Betis in the 21st minute, and they ended up winning 5-3.



Senegal defender Koulibaly broke the deadlock for Napoli in the second half against a dogged Verona, nodding in a corner after 65 minutes in a 2-0 home win that kept his side top of Serie A going into the two-week winter break.


Senegalese forward Niang — on loan from AC Milan after spending last season in Watford — finally got on the scoresheet with the second goal in a 3-0 win over Bologna. Niang said he felt guilty that coach Sinisa Mihajlovic lost his job last week to be replaced by ex-Watford manager Walter Mazzarri. “We have a special relationship and it is partly my fault if he is no longer our coach. He chose me to help him achieve results and I didn’t succeed: I take responsibility.”



The Ivory Coast international was Lyon’s hero as he scored in the last minute to seal a 3-2 win at second-tier Nancy in the round of 64 of the French Cup, as Ligue 1 clubs entered the competition following the winter break. Lyon had been 2-1 down before equalising in the 87th minute. Cornet was starting with Burkina Faso star Bertrand Traore still on the sidelines.

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