By Eddie Chikamhi
Tino Kadewere was yesterday named in the French Ligue 1 Team of the Week after scoring a beautiful brace that handed Olympique Lyon a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Saint-Etienne in Sunday’s Rhone-Alpes derby.
Kadewere has been named in the Sofascore’s Ligue 1 Team of the Week, along with Lyon teammate Maxwel Cornet of Cote d’Ivoire, following a dream outing by the two African players on the night.
He is expected home today for the back-to-back AFCON qualifiers against Algeria while his Warriors teammate, Marshall Munetsi, will not make it after suffering an injury in a Ligue 1 match for Stade de Reims on Sunday night.
The 24-year-old Kadewere had a night to remember after he came off the bench to replace Moussa Dembele in the 57th minute and made the difference with two well-taken goals for Lyon.
Despite playing 33 minutes, Kadewere sent social media ablaze yesterday and the cameo was enough to earn him his team’s man-of-the-match award.
Sofascore, a football stats website, gave him a performance rating of 8.5, the second highest in the dream team.
Argentinian Ángel Di María, who scored twice and had an assist for PSG in their 3-0 win over Rennes, had the highest ranking of 9.5.
“I think it was great today. I am very happy personally. It was a derby and it was very important for us and the supporters,” Kadewere told French Foot Mercato.
“The most important thing is to win these matches. I really believe in God. I have faith and I knew it was going to happen because I always had the dream of playing for Lyon and it happened.
“It’s better when you actually do things. I am very happy. Tonight, my dream has come true.
“I’m very happy to score and win, but I was not alone. We are a team, we win together.”
The victory pushed last year’s Champions League semi-finalists to fifth position on the French Ligue 1 standings.
Last week, Warriors teammate Munetsi, was also in the Team of the Week following a commanding performance in Stade de Reims’ 2-1 victory over RC Strasbourg.
Kadewere had told reporters before the match that he dreamt of scoring a double on Sunday and was happy his dream came true.
“I dreamt about this, I’m very happy, the most important thing is to have won, we did that for us and for the fans,” he told the Lyon website.
“They weren’t with us at the stadium but I know they were all in front of the TV. We will take the three points, we’ll do what it takes to perform well this season.
“I’m not only happy for myself but also for the team… We are a group, everyone deserves to play, I stayed focused because the coach told me I was going to play.
“The free-kick we had worked on in training and it worked . . . It’s a great feeling to win my first derby.
“I think it was great today. I am very happy personally. It was a derby and it was very important for us and the supporters.”
Kadewere set some records in the process as he became the first player to come from the bench and score a brace in the Derby.
His team were behind at half-time.
Lyon found themselves trailing following Anthony Lopes’ own goal in the 40th minute.
But Kadewere’s goals in the 65th and 74th minutes turned the game around and secured all three points for the hosts.
Kadewere was assisted by Ivorian Cornet, for his two efforts, which stretched his tally to three goals after nine Ligue 1 matches.
He is expected home today to join the Warriors for the back-to-back AFCON qualifying matches against Algeria.
However, Munetsi will not make it after he was ruled out through injury.
His team informed ZIFA yesterday that the gritty midfielder suffered a knock during the 4-4 draw against Lens on Sunday night.
Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare, confirmed the setback.
He became the fourth player to drop out of the 24-member squad after Butholezwe Ncube and the United States-based duo of Tatenda Mkuruva and Tendai Jirira who were forced out by travel complications.
While some of the targeted players have been a joke, given they were unlikely to add value to the team, Munetsi’s absence will be a huge blow to the team.
Especially in a game, against the attacking Desert Foxes, where the Warriors are likely to be on the defence for much of the game.
He has been one of the best players, for the national team, since former coach Sunday Chidzambwa anointed him as a future leader of the Warriors. The Herald