MTN ELITE One Playoffs: Matchday Two Report

The 2023 edition of the MTN ELITE ONE Championship playoffs entered their second playing day on Thursday, May 18th, 2023, at the Douala Omnisport Stadium, with Matches pitting Canon Sportif of Yaounde and Gazelle of Garoua, as well as Coton Sports Vs. Bamboutos of Mbouda.


MTN ELITE One Playoffs: Matchday Two Report

3:00pm kick-off: Canon Sportif de Yaounde 2-0 Gazelle of Garoua 

scorers: Emmanuel Mahop 44', Henri Paul Tchikeu 88.'
Man Of the Match: Emmanuel Mahop

The first Match kicked off at 3.00pm with fans streaming in through the North and South Gates of the Bepanda Omnisport Stadium. Both teams were looking to Bounce back from the defeats suffered on the opening day of the playoffs. Lose here, and the dream of being crowned Elite One Champions is over.

Canon of Yaounde, playing in their traditional all-green, were quick to stamp their authority in the game, controlling possession and launching a couple of well-coordinated attacks early on. The game was pretty even, with no clear-cut chances on either side, but Canon of Yaounde drew first blood when the League's top scorer Emmanuel Mahop broke the Deadlock with a powerful header one minute from half-time. 

Gazelle showed much enterprising play as they searched for an equalizer, but the final ball was always lacking, much to the frustrating coach Joel Alioum Kada. Paul Tchikeu made it 2 nil in the closing stages calming any lingering fears of an equalizing goal from Gazelle of Garoua. 

This result means Gazelle is now out of the running for the Championship Title after suffering two losses in as many games. On her part, Canon will go into the final Match with renewed hope against defending Champions Coton Sport of Garoua, with the win taking them to 3 points after games played.

MTN ELITE One Playoffs: Matchday Two Report

5:30pm Kickoff: Coton Sports Of Garoua 1-0 Bamboutos Of Mbouda 

Scorer: Abdouramam Daman 64'
Man Of the Match: Abdouramam Daman

This was the game everyone was waiting for! With a 32 000-strong crowd, endearing fanbases, and an absolutely electric atmosphere, the stage was set for the most anticipated playoff match. 

The game will live up to its expectations, as the Cotonites had the last laugh in a game labeled as a final before the final. 

With a certain William Saliba in the Stands, Jean Baptiste Bissek's team was majestic, assured, and played like the Champions they are, while Yves Clement Arroga's Bamboutous of Mbouda played with the defiance of a team wanting to offset the old-order. 

Che Malone Marvelled at the heart of the Coton defense while Njoufack, Ekanga, and co entertained and probed. It was a clash of style, with Cotton sticking to their 4-2-3-1 formation and Bamboutos deploying the fluid 3-4-3 formation, which gave them so much control in the first game.

But the poise and experience of Coton Sport shone, even as Bamboutos de Mbouda were as smooth and entertaining as ever. 

Ultimately, the game was decided by a moment of sheer grit and determination when young Patient Wassou made a penetrating run before playing in Abdouraman Daman, who slotted past the impressive Benjamin Munya in the Bamboutos goal, scoring the games only goal in the 64th minute. 

Benjamin Bilieu, Alex Diboto, and Ali Lamin Dang all came close, but the defending champions held on to move closer to an 18th League title with a vital win.

MTN ELITE One Playoffs: Matchday Two Report

What Next?

The 2023 ELITE ONE playoffs enter their 3rd and final day on Sunday, May 21st, with three teams still mathematically challenging for the top prize. Coton Sports (6 points) faces Canon of Yaounde (3 points), while Bamboutos of Mbouda (3 points) will battle with Gazelle of Garoua  (0 points).  

The Champions of the 2023 MTN ELITE ONE season will be crowned at the end of this pair of matches.

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