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Cotonsport crush 10-man Enyimba to top table

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Sep 2008


Cotonsport Garoua of Cameroon outplayed 10-man Enyimba of Nigeria 3-0 Saturday to top their African Champions League group and dodge Egyptian giants Al-Ahly in the semi-finals.

Goals from Ahmadou Ngomna, Kamilou Daouda and Baba Ousmaila earned the club from the northern Cameroon cotton town of Garoua an unexpectedly easy passage into a last-four showdown with the Group A runners-up.

The Cameroonians, semi-finalists after reaching the mini-league phase for the first time this year, will discover their rivals Sunday with Dynamos of Zimbabwe, ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast and Zamalek of Egypt the contenders.

Cotonsport entered the Group B match at the Omnisport Stadium knowing only a win would prevent Tout Puissant Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo accompanying Enyimba to the next stage.

And their task was simplified just 14 minutes into the first half when the Ugandan referee showed Enyimba goalkeeper Rabo Saminvu a red card for a foul outside the penalty area.

Although television replays proved Saminvu made contact with his opponent, it appeared a harsh decision especially as the goalkeeper was not the last defender.

Reserve goalkeeper Sani Haliru came on and an outfield player departed, but the fighting spirit quickly evaporated from the Nigerians and it was a question of when rather than if Cotonsport scored.

Ngomna broke the deadlock after 39 minutes with a rising shot from the edge of the penalty area and Niger-born Kamilou Daouda punished a Haliru error to head the second 16 minutes into the second half.

Enyimba protested angrily that Ousmaila was offside when he fired the final goal nine minutes from full-time, but replays showed the referee made the correct decision.

While Garoua will feel more confident having avoided perennial title favourites Ahly, that challenge now falls to Enyimba, who have been deadly at home this year but vulnerable away in the premier African club competition.

The Nigerians conceded three goals in each of three away pool matches, a major concern for Belgian coach Maurice Cooremans ahead of a visit to Cairo Stadium come mid-October.

Leading African Champions League scorer Stephen Worgu, far ahead of any rival with 13 goals, was a virtual spectator against Cotonsport on an afternoon the ‘Peoples Elephant’ will wish to hastily forget.


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