They played at The Showgrounds: Mamadou Niang

OUR popular mini-series continues as we recap on former Senegalese striker and Ligue 1 winner, Mamadou Niang, who netted on his appearance at The Showgrounds back in 2002…

Niang started his career at Troyes and would spend his first nine years of his professional career in France before moving to Fenerbache, Al-Sadd, Besiktas on loan and Arles-Avignon. However, Niang would be fondly known for a spell at Marseille where he won the Ligue 1 title and was the top scorer in the top flight of French football.

The striker scored against Coleraine in the first leg of the second round Intertoto Cup clash in 2002 and represented his country on 59 occasions before retiring in 2015.


Niang was born in Matam, Senegal, on October 13, 1979, and started his playing career in the youth set-up at Le Havre in France. He is the older brother of Papa Niang, who is also a professional footballer.

The striker would make his debut for Troyes in 2001 as the club won the Intertoto Cup in 2001 against Newcastle United but he would have a mixed beginning to his career with his first season featuring ten Ligue 1 starts, all from the bench, the following season would show little improvement with 17 starts and only 3 league goals.

A loan period with FC Metz would see Niang score five goals in 12 appearances as he helped them return to Ligue 1, and despite wanting him to stay, the striker would move to Strasbourg in 2004 and he would form a deadly partnership with Mickaël Pagis with the pair linking up for 27 goals in the league. This partnership helped Strasbourg make it to the Coupe de la Ligue final, where victory over Caen gave Strasbourg their second Coupe de la Ligue trophy. Niang scored Strasbourg’s first goal as they won 2–1.

In 2005, Niang moved to Marseille for a reported fee of €7 million. He was joined six months later by Mickaël Pagis. Niang finished the season as Marseille’s top scorer with ten goals but Marseille lost the Coupe de France final to Paris Saint-Germain. Niang would go on to finish the 2009–10 season with 18 goals in Ligue 1, making him the highest scorer in the league and Marseille’s highest scorer with 28 goals in all competitions as he helped the club win the league title and the Coupe de la Ligue final.

Niang signed a three-year deal with Fenerbahçe on 14 August 2010 for a fee of reported €8 million. He made a great start with Fenerbahçe SK when he scored 7 goals in his first 6 league appearances. Niang scored his first hat-trick for Fenerbahçe on his 5th appearance when they won 6–2 against Kasımpaşa. He helped his side win the 2010–11 Süper Lig, scoring 16 goals in 29 appearances.

A year later, Niang was sold to Al-Sadd for €7.5 million and would net in the AFC Champions League shoot-out win against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea. On 31 January 2013, Niang moved to Turkish side Beşiktaş on loan until the end of the season and scored his first goal and contributed with an assist in a 3–2 win against his old club Fenerbahçe securing three points for his team in the final derby ever on İnönü Stadium.

On 28 August 2014, Niang returned to France to sign for AC Arles-Avignon, having been overseas for the last four years and his retirement would follow twelve months later.

On the international stage, Niang would appear at the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and scored 20 goals in 59 appearances for his country.


The two teams would meet at The Showgrounds on July 6, 2002, for the first leg of the Intertoto Cup second round, and although Coleraine would be beaten 2-1 on the Ballycastle Road, they emerged with credit against their French opponents.

Indeed, they might have even snatched a draw six minutes from the finish when Gerry Flynn’s rasping shot was punched out by the keeper Tony Heurtebis. Coleraine, who held out until the second minute of first half injury time, equalised with a 50th minute penalty but succumbed to a 59th minute winner which puts Troyes in the driving seat.

Coleraine closed down the French, tackled quickly and never gave them time on the ball during the first 20 minutes but the French side got the breakthrough in injury time. Akrohr’s shot was blocked but it dropped for Senegalese international Mamadou Naing to hammer into the net.

Coleraine goalkeeper David O’Hare brought off excellent saves in each half including touching a ball from Gousse over the bar. He brilliantly pushed out another 25 yard attempt from Gousse. Another shot came off his legs, fell to Akrour who struck the rebound from six yards but somehow O’Hare managed to keep it out.

Coleraine had their chances too. Pat McAllister’s 25 yard low shot was stopped on the line by the keeper while Michael McHugh put another over the bar. Coleraine got back into the game with a 50th minute penalty awarded when Jody Tolan was pushed off the ball by Tourenne. Maltese referee Joseph Attard pointed to the spot and up stepped Ian McCoosh to drive it into the net.

But Troyes got back in front in the 59th minute when substitute Saifi put Gousse through and his finish was classical. A minute later Gousse headed against the bar. O’Hare again came to Coleraine’s rescue in the 60th minute when he brilliantly turned away a speculative effort from substitute Ghazi and then punched out the subsequent corner. He had been one of Coleraine’s heroes during an afternoon in which they fought courageously and brought credit to Irish League football.

COLERAINE: O’Hare, Gray, Flynn, Clanachan, Gaston, Beatty (Maguire ’85 mins), Hamill (Curran ’65 mins), McCoosh, Tolan, McAllister, McHugh (Armstrong ’70 mins).

Subs Not Used: Millar (GK), Neill, McKee.

TROYES: Heurter, Hamed, Berthe, Bradja, Danjou, Amzine, Tourenne, Carle (Florentin ’78 mins), Akrour (Saifi ’46 mins), Gousse, Niang (Ghazi ’64 mins).

Subs Not Used: Cassard (GK), Azsanz, Leroy, Nivet

Referee: Joseph Attard (Malta)