Nigerian forward Mashood Kassali Goma scored in either halves to help 10-man Cotonsport of Garoua record a crucial 2-1 win against Aigle Royal, a result which puts them back in contention for the title playoff places.
The delayed match day 19 fixture of 2022/23 MTN Elite One championship didn’t disappoint.
Coach Jean Baptiste Bisseck’s impact on the defending champions was evident in his debut in the dugout as not only did they get their 7th win of the campaign, they put up arguably one of their best performances of the season despite finishing the game without Jean Daniel Nyeck, who was sent off for a foul in the penalty area.
Both sides desperately needed three points going into the contest, though with contrasting objectives at this stage of the season.
Kassali, who scored last weekend in the 1-2 CAF Champions League defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns announced his return to Garoua in style.
The 28-year-old found the back of the net after 14 minutes after kick-off, rewarding the hosts who had been better in the opening quarter of the game.
Coton put together a number of passes before putting a cross into box with was not well dealt with, allowing Kassali to pounce to get the opener.
The goal was some sort of a wake up call for David Pagou’s team as they played better after conceding.
It took a number of defensive interventions from Che Malone and his peers to stop some of the incursions from the visitors.
The defending champions took the one-goal advantage to the break, but the second segment had more to offer.
Just like the first segment, Coton scored earlier into the second segment.
Kassali was on the end of a well-worked offensive move and scored his first brace for the club.
Coton chasing a second consecutive home win and a third win this year thought they were cruising before the unwanted happened.
Nyeck, who was making a rare start in goal was sent off 22 minutes from time, following a fool in the penalty area, deem to be denial of an Aigle Royal goal scoring opportunity.
Coton introduced regular Gadin Allatbatnan between the sticks before the penalty and for the final moments of the game as Aigle pushed for the equalizer.
Arnise Nlend Guddus converted the resulting penalty to make it 2-1 and a nervy finale.
Unfortunately, El Pacha’s efforts late on couldn’t produce the equalizer as the host held on and earned maximum points.
The victory takes Cotonsport up to the third spot in Pool A with 26 points, four points off second-placed UMS, but with two games in hand.
Coton face struggling Colombe in another of their delayed fixture in Garoua on Tuesday.
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