Aspiring top-flight championship side Panthere of Nde failed to capitalize on the recent struggles of rivals Isle of Hope Sports Academy (ISOHSA) of Limbe in their match day nine outing of the 2023/24 MTN Elite Two championship.
The Nzui Manto of coach Soh Simplice play3d out a disappointing 1-1 draw against struggling Leopard Sportif of Douala in the delayed game pundits had identified as the avenue for them to finally topple fourth-place ISOHSA that suffered a 2-3 defeat against leaders Djiko FC in the latest round of matches.
ISOHSA’s run of five games without a win after match day nine had taken the newcomers from the top of Pool B to the fourth position. Going into Monday’s delayed fixture, Panthere on 11 points needed any sort of victory to break into the top four for the first time this season.
Unfortunately for the Bangante outfit they could only settle for a point at the Bonamoussadi stadium on a day both sides did their all to win, but it wasn’t to be.
The game was decided by quick fire goals just after kick-off of the hotly-contested encounter.
Cotonsport of Garoua striker on loan at Leopard Sportif, Madi Stanislas put the hosts ahead after 10 minutes, but Panthere replied almost immediately via a Marc Ibrahim goal that silenced the home crowd.
The game then resulted to a cagey affair as both sides opted to be cautiously ambitious all afternoon.
Panthere actually had the ball at the back of the Leopard Sportif net midway into the second segment, but the goal was chalked off and it stayed on the parity score till the end of regulation time.
The draw means Leopard now counts six points after achieving two without defeat for the first time this season and same can be said about Panthere who have picked up two points from their last two games to move tight with ISOHSA in terms of the 12 points apiece though the latter remains fourth.
The next round of matches will be crucial for both clubs as they battle to be in the promotion playoffs top four positions. ISOHSA welcomes resurgent but bottom Leopard Sportif of Douala while Panthere host current leaders Djiko FC of Bandjoun.
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