By Angu Lesley
Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and Montpellier defender Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo scored what turned out to be a consolatory goal as his club suffered a 2-4 defeat against visiting Stade Rennes this Friday evening at the Stade de La Mosson.
The Match-Day 26 fixture for this season’s French Ligue 1 championship got off to a bad start for the host who had a second Cameroonian in Enzo Mbiayi Ganni Tchato on their bench. Montpellier conceded twice in the opening 15 minutes as Rennes raced to a 2-0 lead.
Mali national team skipper Hamari Toure played-in Martin Terrier to score the opener just eight minutes into the game.
The other Rennes’ winger Benjamin Bourigeaud added the second seven minutes later, helping the visitors to open a 2-0 lead.
Just when Rennes was about done with their celebration of the second goal, Oyongo Bitolo pulled one back for the host in what was the game’s third goal just 19 minutes after kick-off.
The teams settled into the contest with better defending but in the 41st minute, teenage French defender Elye Wahi, 19 made it 2-2.
The second goal meant, Oyongo and his Montpellier colleagues had temporarily dug themselves out of the self-imposed pit they got into just after 15 minutes.
barely seven minutes upon resumption, Montpellier were in trouble again; Gaëtan Laborde dispatched the ball pass Jonas Omlin in the Montpellier goal to restore their lead.
Lovro Maje rounded the scoring for Rennes in the 84th minute, just a minute before Oyongo was booked for the second successive game.
Rennes of unavailable potential Indomitable Lions international Nyamsi Gerzino protected the 4-2 lead till full-time thus landing three points and their 13th win in 26 games this season.
Potential indomitable Lions of Cameroon defender, Enzo Mbiayi Ganni Tchato was an unused substitute throughout the game. The 19-year old in his 13th season at Montpellier is edging closer to first team action.
Rennes, 2021 UEFA Champions League are 4th on the log with 43 points accumulated from 13 wins and four draws in 26 games.
The game was Oyongo’s fourth this term following his return from a knee injury that kept him out for close to a year.
The latest goal is Oyongo Bitolo’s third in 71 games for the French club he joined in January 2018 from Canadian side Impact Montreal.
The 30-year old Cameroon International is expected to inspire his colleagues to a good finish of the 38-game championship.
Montpellier trek FC Nantes Cameroon fellow international Jean-Charles Castelletto next weekend in Match-Day 27 and Oyongo is expected to make it a third start for the first time since November 2020 when he started in consecutive wins against Saint Etienne and Girondin Bordeaux.
At international level, the 2017 Africa cup of Nations winner has made 49 appearances for Cameroon, from which the Gold medalist of Gabon 2017 counts two goals. He was a part of the Cameroon team at the 2021 AFCON tournament and skippered his country to a third place finish in what was his fourth finals of the continental event.
30-year old Oyongo is expected to be picked by Cameroon’s head coach Antonio Conceicao, as competitor for a starting berth with 23-year old Nouhou Tolo who had a debut tournament to remember in the shape of the 2021 AFCON on home soil.
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