Sebastian Nzana in action for Cotonsport against Al Ahly in the 2008 CAF Champions League final

By Giovanni Wanneh
Football Writer,

It doesn’t get bigger than playing in a CAF club competition, neither can it get any closer than playing for the trophy in two legs – very few can tell the story, former Cotonsport left back Sebastian Nzana, being one of them.

Sebastian Nzana having lived the moment, voiced to ‘the motivation of that team in 2008 was firstly the persons involved. Equally, the presence of Albert Roger Milla, the Director General Abega, plus the whole town, and country.

‘The city was buzzing. Our families were all there. We had to do it for Cameroon,’ Nzana said with zeal.

Having joined Cotonsport in 2005 from Canon, Sebastian Nzana witnessed a complete metamorphosis of the Garoua based club into a dreaded machine.

After local dominance, Ndzana and co dared to head continental and tell the ‘glory, glory’ tale in 2008.

Led by Ivorian gaffer Ombiogn Nguedou who replaced Denis Lavagne who had ledt for the Cameroon national selection job, Cotonsport cruised past group B consisting of Eyimba, T.P Mazembe and Al Hilal picking up 10 points and dropping just two games in the process

The stage was then set for the finals after Cotonsport defeated Dynamos by a wide margin in semis.

It was unarguably the the best teams going heads on. Al Ahly had received and replied Cotonsport’s early statement of intent – picking up 12 points in group A before leapfrogging Eyimba 1-0 in the semis.

Goals from Egypt and Angola internationals Gomaa and Flavio forced Cotonsport to fall away from home before two more away goals for Al Ahly did the trick in the reversed fixture.

‘In the return leg we missed chances that I was sure we would bury. They had two chances and scored to tie the game at 2-2,’ recounted Sebastian Nzana

Nzana has however admitted overtime that the better side won : ‘In 2008 Al Ahly was just better. 80 percent of the players who defeated Cameroon in the 2008 finals were present against us. They had Flavio and Gilberto, all Angola internationals.’

The disciplined defender went on to have a decent career and has no regrets. ‘I don’t have regrets. In life we have to accept what God gives us and not to search for too much. I thank God for everything done.’

Sebastian Nzana can boast of a silver medal in the CAF champions league, gold at the All African Games 2003 in Abuja, coupled with 10 domestic trophies.

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