Sunday evening in the Camerounian city of Garoua, the Egyptian team Al-Ahly will meet the Cameroonian Coton Sport FC in the second leg of the final of the African Champions League. Only one certainty, It will be a very tight game.
Tonight, Cameroonians and Egyptians will have a serious common point. In the streets of Yaounde, or on the sidewalks of Cairo, they are likely to be scotched to their television screens to monitor the game between the 5 times champion of Africa, the Egyptian "Al-Ahly", and "Coton Sport FC" of Cameroon, newcomer at this stage of the competition in Africa.
After winning the first leg in Cairo (2 / 0), "Al-Ahly", who disputes its fourth consicutive final in the Champions League, made a serious step towards his sixth title in this competition, record on the continent. A victory that also allow the team to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup that will be held in Japan. Thus, Al-Ahly would be the only club in the world, 3 times to qualify for this prestigious competition.
Getting to the podium is not a small matter. Coton Sport has also its ambitions: Winning its first continental title and end the dominance of Egyptians who have so far won all finals against the Cameroonians. Last Remembrance: The Final CAN 2008 when the Pharaohs beat the Indomitable Lions (1/0).
Plan "Scorpion bite" : The Red Devils competing this match with the hope to forget their fail at the final of last year on their own ground when they heavily lost (1/3)against the Tunisian team Etoile du Sahel after they had a tie (0 / 0) in Tunisia. For this, a psychiatrist has been hired to assist the players to take the pressure. This occurs when al-Ahly coach, the Portuguese Manuel Jose, said he was determined to play the attack, aiming to put pressure on the shoulders of tne Cameroonians.
For its part, Coton Sport, a real surprise revelation of this edition, intends to remain unbeaten at home. He defeated heavy weight opponents such as the Ivorian ASEC Mimosas and the Sudaneese "al-Marikh". The team was qualified for the final after humiliating the Zimbabwean "Dynamos Harare" (4/1) after winning the first leg 1/0 in Harare. The sons of Garoua want to complete their adventure by beating the club of the century in Africa and hold the Cup. A mission that requires them to lead the Red Devils by 3 goals difference.
Tension on both sides : This game is played in a psychologically tense atmosphere : on the Egyptian side, the media fear a bad refereeing, recalling that the Moroccan referee Abdelrehim al-Argun has deprived al-Ahly two penalties in the last final lost against Etoile du Sahel.
They also hint that Garoua is the birthplace of Issa Hayatou, President of the Confederation of African Football. For these media that means that the reefree may be unfair to al-Ahly in a sign of complacency towards Hayatou.
In Cameroon, the media said that the charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Egypt in Yaounde, Sheriff Raafat, held to apologize for the cold reception of Coton Sport in Cairo and the many failures that have punctuated the short stay of the Cameroonian delegation in Egypt. Example, there was no official of the Egyptian Football Federation to host the team at Cairo airport.
It remains to wait 90 minutes at Garoua to know whether al-Ahly will reclaim his African throne and strengthen the rule of Egyptian football in the continent. Or, if the African clubs will have new king who will succeed to the Tunisians of Etoile de Sahel.
Trophies of the 2 teams
Clubs Worldcup : Bronze Medal in 2006
African Champions League 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006 and runner up in 1983 and 2007
African Cup of Cups 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993
African Supercup 2002, 2006, 2007 and runner up in 1994
Afro-Asian Cup 1989
Arab Champions League 1996
Arab Cup of Cups 1995
Arab Supercup 1997 -1998
Egyptian League (33 titles) 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Cup of Egypt (35 titles) 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1966, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007
Supercup of Egypt 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
Sultan Hussein's cup 1923, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1939
Cairo League 1939, 1942, 1943, 1948, 1950
United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) 1961
Coton Sport de Garoua : Cameroonian League (8 titles) 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Cup of Cameroon : 2003, 2004 CAF Confederation Cup : Runner up in 2003
Coton Sport de Garoua :
Cameroonian League (8 titles) 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Cup of Cameroon : 2003, 2004
CAF Confederation Cup : Runner up in 2003
This Article was written for www.magalif.fr