By AFESEH APONG
Sports writer kick442.com, Cameroon.
The Cameroon league one Championship is approaching its last 10 playing days for the 2019_2020 season, and football pundits and fans are still finding it difficult to predict a potential champion and future league two candidates.
On like in the English premier league where leaders Liverpool, boast of a 22 point gap between them and second place Manchester City, or the 61 points that separate them from bottom placed Norwich city, it is not the case with the Cameroon league one Championship, where just two points separate table toppers, Colombe of the Dja and Lobo, and second placed PWD of Bamenda, and just 18 points from rock bottom A.S Fortuna.
In this piece, we take a look at the title possiblities in Cameroon league one, with Focus on the performance of the top six, and a look at their upcoming fixtures.
COLOMBE, A DANGEROUS DARK HORSE
From a 2#5 defeat to Bamboutos FC of Mbouda on October 18, 2019 in the league’s opener, to topping the league 23 playing days after, Colombe sportive of the Dja and Lobo has proven to be a veritable dark horse in the title race. (a candidate for a post who has never been previously considered as a likely choice).
Colombe has surprisingly recorded the highest number of wins (12), in the league this season, and have grind out big results against big teams, such as a 2#0 win over cotonsport, and wins over the likes of Canon, Panthere, Dragon and a host of others. The big transformation in ranks of Colombe can be largely attributed to the tactical genus of Coach Gabriel Zabo, but the fine form of players like Francis Elimbi, Man Ykre, Fabrice Onana and Goalkeeper Souleman Souleman, has been a major boast to the team.
Now the question is, how long will Colombe stay top of the league’s table?.
Colombe has five home and five away games to play. Their double trip to the North West to play Yong Sports Academy and PWD of Bamenda, may be a defining moment to Colombe’s title ambitions.
PWD’s FAIRY TALE THAT KEEPS TELLING
Never could anyone have thought of PWD making it into the top half of the league’s table before the start of the season. But history holds that a bad season for the Abakwa Boys is always followed by a near perfect one. Let’s look back at the 2016_2017 season, where PWD dramatically survived relegation from the league two championship. But the following year, they dictated the pace and were only outsmarted to the title by Avion. With the same scenario in the league one last season, and the team starting the 2019_2020 campaign two playing days late, many tipped them to be the first relegation candidate.
Coach David Pagou stepped in and started building a squad with players not known to many. He brought in what has become his trademark 3_5_2 system. Youngsters like Nchindo John Bosco, Hulrich Ibakeleki and a host of others were transformed into warriors. Big wins over the likes of UMS, Colombe, Feutcheu, APEJES and Avion, gave them more reasons to believe. All factors indicate that their quest for a first ever league title can become a reality, given that six of their remaining 10 league games will be at home in Bamenda, with immediate challengers, Colombe and Feutcheu, to come visiting, plus ending the season with two home games against Fovu and Stade Renard.
They will be counting on their excellent away form, to grind out something good from their three games in Limbe, against Bamboutos, Union and Avion.
COTONSPORT’s DOMINANCE COMING TO AN END?
Cotonsport has gone close to two months without a win (52 days as of the time this article was made public). The cotonites have failed to win any of their last eight league games, recording five draws and three defeats in that process. Their recent poor display has been attributed to the mass involvement of some of their key players, with the intermediate lions of Cameroon. Goalkeeper Simon Omossola, Thomas Etta Bawak, Solomon Banga, Pascal Mabrga Abega, Alphonse Marie Tientcheu and Ebongue Yannick, have missed most of cotonsport’s games. Their come back into the team, will add more energy to the team, that has recently been handed to Aboubakar Souleymanou.
A look at their remaining fixtures still give the cotonites some reasons to believe, with games against Struggling Tonnerre Kalara Club, Dragon, Eding, Fortuna and Avion. They will however have a mountain to climb, when they face the likes of Bamboutos and UMS. Even if Cotonsport fights back to claim the title, there are growing signs that the cotonites dominance is under threat.
BAMBOUTOS/FEUTCHEU STILL BELIEVING
Bamboutos FC of Mbouda were tipped as favorites in the title race, just after the first day of play. Surprisingly, the Mangwa Boys have dropped momentum, and have become the new draw masters in the league. The team is on a run of four consecutive draws, and have accumulated a total of six draws in their last eight league games. For their title ambitions to be kept alive, they will have to turn these draws into wins, especially with two straight games against relegation threatened Tonnerre Kalara Club and Eding Sport calling next.
For Feutcheu FC, their lack of consistency is not really helping matters for the team. Their current position in the top five may just be temporal. The team will need to go an extra mile to withstand the pressure from the chasing Bloc.
THE UNION SPORTIVE REMONTADA IS REAL
Union of Douala has best record since the start of the second phase of the championship. The arrival of the likes of Goalkeeper Loic Feudjeu, Stanley Echabe, Manga Mba and Aboubakar Sidiki, has turned Union’s fortunes around. The team is on a run of six wins and one defeat in their last seven games, keeping six clean sheets, 13 goals scored and conceding just two goals in that period.
Union’s form is frightening and should they keep that momentum in their next 10 games, they will pose a serious threat to the title challengers.
The truth of the matter is that, the 2019_2020 title race will certainly go down the wire and will not be an easy ride for the cotonites as it has been in the years back. In the next 10 playing days, everything is still possible.
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