The Cottoners of Garoua have settled for the eighteenth Divisional One title, called “Elite One”, highest ever for a local football club in Cameroon. The Garoua-based side thrashed 11th time winners, Canon Sportif of Yaounde 2-0 at the historic Douala Bepanda Reunification stadium to raise the coveted trophy at end of the 2023 MTN Elite One PlayOffs that kicked off on Sunday, May 14 to Sunday May 21, 2023
Coton Sport wins win a clean sheet after beating three other contestants in the playoffs to reach the top with nine points. During day-3 actions, Bamboutos also humbled Gazzelle FA 4-1 in the first encounter of the day.
This victory means Coton counts eighteen Championship titles with three successive trophies in the same category.
At the 24th minute, Abdouraman Daman Bourbaki Bouba exploited a loppy and very closed case of no concentration from goalkeeper Jourdain Mbaynaissem, just when he was struggling to hold still the ball, Daman stole it from him to the joy of his team leaving scores at 1-0 before half time.
Just when coach Souleymanou Aboubakar and his boys of Canon were struggling to have an equaliser, the agile Patient Wassou Gouegoue shoke the net with a credible angler just eight minutes to end of normal playing time.
Infact, Canon tried but their efforts were not enough, none of their attempts bore fruits, Gadin Allambatnan of Coton stood his grounds to deny Kpa-kum even a goal during this crucial clash.
Even sensational Ngong Neville Gama who signed in for Tombi Alemi did not help remedy the situation. Other changes that saw the likes of Philippe Arthur Banen and Jean Paul Komo, all of Coton played a great deal to them maintaining the momentum and controlling the play.
Indeed, many think it was a seemingly poor Canon during the second half of play with no opportunity to stop the likes Che Malone, Ako Harry, Aziz Bassane Koulanga, Siddick Aboubakar who were portrayed a sense of mastery of good football at all levels
The 3-day actions
The first clash was between Garoua-based clubs, Coton Sports of Garoua and Gazelle Footall Academy of Garoua. The two northern clubs separated on a score of 1-0 in favour of the Cottonners of Garoua
At 5:30 pm, Canon clashed with the club with million of fans popularly known as Bamboutos of Mbouda, in an interesting game that ended 2-1 with the Mbouda boys alias Mangwa boys taking the lead.
On day-2, Bamboutos fell off the hands of Coton in a 1-0 game while Canon defeated Gazelle 2-0 on May 18 to grab her three points in the playoffs
Day-3 was marked by a 4-1 victory imposed by Bamboutos over Gazelle to stay at six points earning her the second best club at just ended playoffs. Coton sailed through to the championship title and a ticket for the qualifiers at the CAF champions league after beating Canon 2-0 in their game.
The prestigious title goes with a money prize of FCFA 50 million for Coton, FCFA 25 million for Bamboutos at the second position and, 15 and 10 million FCFA to Canon and Gazelle who occupy the third and fourth position respectively
Canon would have wanted to break the myth of 21 years without the league title but the dream was not transformed to reality.
Benly Anchunda,Bepanda Reunification Stadium