Defending champions Cotonsport of Garoua, Bamboutos FC of Mbouda, Gazelle FA of Garoua and Canon Yaounde are through to the title playoff after the last round of matches in Pool A and B of the 2022/23 MTN Elite One championship.
The four outfits will compete for the title via a one week title tournament scheduled between May 14-21 in Douala during which the team to succeed the 2022 champions and Cameroon CAF Champions League preliminary flag bearers will be determined.
Cotonsport sealed their spot in the highly-awaited event after their 1-0 win against Stade Renard in the final round of matches just like fellow Pool A side Canon Yaounde who whitewashed Colombe 5-0 to finish top. Canon under the technical guidance of coach Souleymanou Aboubakar finished two points better than the defending champions who accumulated 34 points.
Canon, five-time champions of Cameroon are the most offensive side in the championship this season with 31 goals scored. The championship’s lead scorer Emmanuel Mahop scored 15 of the goals. The Mekok Megunda enjoyed a complete change in fortune when coach Aboubakar took over before the start of the second round of the championship. They are still undefeated under him and out in search of a first title win since coach Jean Paul Akono’s side won it in 2002.
Cotonsport enjoyed a struggle start, but the arrival of coach Jean Baptiste Bisseck weeks after he was sacked by Canon turn things around. The trainer remains unbeaten largely thanks to the solid defence wall built on the shoulders of captain Che Malone. Coton will be out to seek a record extending 18th title and third in a row.
Gazelle FA in their debut campaign in the top-flight won group B ahead of Bamboutos FC of Mbouda. The newcomers from the North Region accumulated 36 points and somehow protected their top position in the last match day as their rivals from Mbouda failed to beat struggling AS Fortuna. Gazelle and Bamboutos FC are seeking their first triumph.
Coton and Canon were part of the quartet of last season’s playoff while Bamboutos FC and Gazelle FA have reached this stage of the championship for the first time.
All four sides were consistent throughout the season, which earned them a spot in the big time.
The winner of the championship this season will get 50 Millions FCFA plus ad ons of the same amount from the Cameroon football federation.
The organizers are expected to announce the program of the competition and the format in the days ahead.
In a related development, Yong Sports Academy of Bamenda and Djiko FC will clash in a relegation playoff game also scheduled in Douala.
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