New signing Wendeu Lako Emile saved a second-half penalty as Cameroon champions Cotonsport began their CAF Champions League season with a satisfactory 0-0 draw at AS Real Bamako this Saturday at the Stade de Martyrs in Bamako.
Debutant Lako was Cotonsport’s hero in the first-leg preliminary round clash as he saved a penalty from Scheickna Diakite to keep Christophe Ousmanou’s side alive in the tie.
Besides Lako, the coach handed debuts to summer signings Patrick Etoga, Benjamin Bieleu and Innocent Assana Nah as Coton began their campaign with one of the most uncomfortable away trips they could have asked for.
The Cotonites had failed to score in most of their previous visits to Mali and Real Bamako got into their faces from the start.
Wendeu was called into action twice in the early moments of the game, but he justified why Cotonsport broke the bank to bring him from Stade Renard.
Cotonsport squandered a number of half chances of their own deep in the first segment, leaving the score goalless at the interval.
Though both sides turned to their benches for reinforcement and more attacking inputs in the second segment there wasn’t a breakthrough in the end.
Cotonsport will return home on Monday and head to Garoua to prepare for the return-leg game next weekend at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.
The winner of the tie will advance to the second preliminary round of the competition.
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