By Elume Raymond™ @elumeraymond
Football diehards will have every reason to celebrate this weekend as the Elite One Championship goes back into action after a one-week hiatus break.
The competition is resuming after club presidents refused to play on condition that they are paid all their state subventions and other subventions from Cameroon’s football governing body, FECAFOOT. The interruption came in after the club president’s association, ACEC, issued a statement calling for the halt of play if these conditions weren’t met. A total of 12 matches are on schedule to mark the resumption of play.
In Group A, Day 13 matches will take place in the Yaounde site and Douala site. Limbe/Buea site and Bafoussam site will host Day 12 Group B matches.
So far, les Astres are ranked first in Group A meanwhile Eding Sport are Group B leaders.
The Cameroon Elite One 2021/2022 season has finally reached the half-way point, albeit with more successes than negatives but these are unprecedented times. But these unprecedented times have called for unprecedented results till date. The league has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride this season. Every team is in with a shout of the much acclaimed Playoffs and there are a fair number of teams now in the relegation battle. Also to note is that although the title does read “half way mark” analysis, 12 teams have actually played just 11 matches! Once again, due to the unprecedented well documented factors, there are a lot of matches that have had to be rescheduled. With these extra matches to be played in the latter half of the season, it may surely come back to bite these teams in the form of injuries and fatigue. Only time will tell. But for now, we can very much talk about what has happened till date!
It feels like we’ve barely had a minute to draw breath but already the Cameroon Elite One Championship has reached the halfway stage of the season.
There has been no shortage of surprises as the unpredictability of an unprecedented year continues to make its mark on each one of the league’s 25 teams.
Who has risen to the challenge and who has fallen away? The Analyst runs the rule over every team as we look forward to another scintillating conclusion to the Cameroon Elite One Championship season.
Four Horse Title Challenge?
APEJES Football Academy’s recent shocking run of 18 points from their last 6 games combined with an unbeaten run of 6 games accumulated by both CotonSport de Garoua and Les Astres de Douala has thrown this year’s Title Race wide open. The name on top of the league has changed and besides the aforementioned 3 teams, the spot has also featured clubs like Eding Sport FC de la Lekie, Canon de Yaounde at various stages of the season. At present, although Les Astres de Douala currently occupies that spot, Cotonsport still remain favourites to win the Championship. Haman Gabriel’s men rallied through a slow start, but a start which saw them focus heavily on their defence and once they sorted that part out, they have been on a juggernaut. They look unstoppable at the moment, so much so that they have conceded just 1 goal in their last 6 games. One can’t rule out APEJES as well despite their current form as pretty much every team has been through a slump at some point or the other this season. Just ask CANON and EDING.
Bonaventure Djonkep’s EDING deserves a word of praise but my personal concern is that EDING has a tendency to do well in either half of a season. Les Astres de Douala has honestly been a surprise addition to the race but their inclusion has ensured that things remain spiced up! It’s going to be a superb end to an incredible unpredictable season. My money is on CotonSport de Garoua.
11 contenders for the PlayOffs
It’s not just the battle for the Top spot that has been intriguing this season. In fact even more than that has been the competitiveness amongst the rest of the teams! Beyond the above mentioned 4, there are 7 teams who are legitimate contenders for at least the PlayOff spots! Apart from Avion Academy FC, Fauve Azur Elite FC and CotonSport de Garoua, teams like Yong Sport Academy Bamenda, PWD Bamenda, Feutcheu FC and Union Sportive de Douala have been absolutely splendid to watch! Only 9 points separate USD in 11th place from Eding in 2nd. But what is of more importance is that they haven’t played the same number of matches and so a proper real picture of the table is yet to be established. It is definitely going to be a tense second half of the season. Who knows, one of these teams could also enter the fray for the Championship!
What exactly is Tonerre doing?
We are going to dedicate a separate section just on Tonerre Kalara Club de Yaounde simply because their season has been nothing short of catastrophe. Absolutely aimless, no fight or appetite, Tonerre just seem content to be playing in this Championship by enjoying all the innovations brought through by the Professional Football Transitional Council, CTFP. They once were a deadly and feared team in Cameroon and Africa and now all that they want to do is just stay up. The intestinal fights seemed to be a wrong move in the opposite direction and things under their temporal governing body have just remained stagnant. They are currently on 9 points from 12 games and slowly but surely getting sucked into the relegation battle. At the moment, they are 4 points below the drop but the teams below them aren’t picking up points either while Tonerre are going the wrong way. WAKE UP!!!
The Relegation Battle
Since the 2nd Day of play that Renaissance de Ngoumou beat YAFOOT 1-0 and the 5th Day of play that Racing de Bafoussam beat APEJES 2-0, both teams at long last claimed that elusive win of the campaign but that has just seen them in the relegation zone at the half way stage. Usually, this would mean that they are all but done but it doesn’t seem so simply because teams like NEW STAR and YAFOOT are giving them company in terms of performing woefully. In close quarters to them are the likes of TONERRE and PANTHERE. I for one have a soft spot for YAFOOT because they are doing their best to play beautiful football but the personnel are lacking, while RACING on the other hand would be absolutely buoyed by their historic following if we are to go by the moniker “Tout Puissant de l’Ouest”. At the moment I see 6 teams in the relegation battle, and my money is on YAFOOT, RENAISSANCE and RACING to make the drop. Why not TONERRE, simply because of the character they have shown lately, to fight all the way till the end to stay up.
Match Scheduling and Injuries
And lastly, we come to Match Scheduling and the injury list of all the teams in general. It’s been oft spoken about and it will continue to be a topic of discussion. To an extent, the scheduling has been very tight so teams without any proper squad depth have suffered huge dips in form and needed a lot of hard work to arrest any slide in form. Also, a moment of respect to all the teams and their managers, simply because these players are playing without much support at the stadium, week in and week out, with incredible tenacity, braving the injuries and putting on a show. From May 15th to 14th June 2022, there are 11 playing days in Group A and Group B. that should surely take its toll on the players.
Facts to Retain halfway through the Championship
Canon de Yaounde is performing well at home ground. Their home game percentage is 100%.
Les Astres de Douala is within the top 3 teams that performs well at home ground, with a home game win ratio of 75%.
Stade Renard de Melong, OFTA FC de Kribi and Renaissance de Ngoumou are the most poorly performing teams at home fixtures with a home game win ratio of 0%.
Home win % in the Elite One is 42%.
Home teams in the Elite One scores an average of 1.2 goals per game, while they concede 1.03 per match at home games.
Home teams on average take 10.89 shots, while being penalized with 0 offsides per match.
All of this summarized means that home teams in the Elite One on average perform 16% better at home.
Eding Sport de la Lekie and Les Astres de Douala have strong performances at away fixtures. Their away match win percentage is at 75%.
Fauve Azur Elite FC, Avion Academy FC and New Star de Douala are not doing well away from home. Their away match win is 0%.
Away win % in the Elite One is 31%
Away teams in the Elite One scores an average of 1.03 goals per game, while they concede 1.2 per match at away fixtures.
Away teams on average take 10.59 shots, while being penalized with 0 offsides per match.
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