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Africa’s best groups #5: Canon Yaounde

The primary in Objective’s sequence to have a good time the continent’s most interesting Caf Champions League winners, we keep in mind Cameroon’s best ever membership facet

Visitor Characteristic | Lotfi Wada

Canon Yaounde facet of the late Nineteen Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties, who defeated the likes of Enugu Rangers and Gor Mahia en path to their best successes, should be thought-about amongst Africa’s all-time nice groups.

Topped on their African Cup of Champions debut in 1971 after beating Asante Kotoko, Canon Yaounde once more reached the heights of Africa six years later, this time within the African Cup Winners’ Cup.

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Going through Enugu Rangers’ mighty technology together with Christian Chukwu and Aloyisius Atuegbu, the Cameroonians fell exhausting within the final stage, and got here again residence empty handed.

It was a failure which helped Le Kpa Kum lean some huge classes which might assist them sooner or later.

Returning to the Caf Champions League a 12 months later after this Winners’ Cup disappointment, a extra mature Canon Yaounde would gun down their opponents en path to the semi-finals, with Inexperienced Buffaloes and Al-Merreikh Omdurman amongst those that have been swatted apart.

Within the semi-final, Thomas Nkono and pals got here up towards the identical Enugu Rangers facet who had prevented them from capturing the ACWC a 12 months beforehand.

Not like the ’77 last, when Rangers gained 5-2, the ’78 assembly was a cagey affair, which Canon ultimately gained on penalties.

1977’s demons have been exorcised, and Canon have been set to play their second African last in two years, however they now had a a lot more durable impediment in entrance of them: Hafia Conakry, who have been at present within the midst of Guinean soccer’s golden period.

On the time, Hafia have been enjoying their fifth African Cup of Champions Cup last within the interval of seven years, and aiming for a fourth crown.

In a packed Stade du 28 Septembre, the Guinean favourites failed to interrupt down a studied and strong Canon Yaounde defence, led by the mythic Nkono between the sticks, and have been pressured to a 0-0 draw earlier than the return leg in Yaounde.

Displaying a unique type from the one beforehand seen in Conakry, the Cameroonians would ease previous the Guineans 2-0 to win their second title, ending Hafia Conakry’s dynasty and beginning their very own.

A 12 months later, the pink and inexperienced twister would bulldoze their technique to clinch the identical African Cup Winners’ Cup last they misplaced years earlier by the hands of Enugu Rangers.

With none issues, Le Kpa Kum smashed Gor Mahia in what remains to be the best rating registered in an African last: 8-0 on mixture, together with a 6-0 victory within the return leg.

Il y a 7 ans jour pour jour, le 15 novembre 2012, Théophile Abega nous quittait.

• 🏆 CAN 1984

• 🏆🏆 Ligue des Champions CAF 1978 et 1980

• 🏆🏆🏆🏆Champion du Cameroun en 1977, 1979, 1980 et 1982

• 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Coupe du Cameroun en 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 et 1983

🦁🇨🇲🙏 pic.twitter.com/cWbZpvmAbs

— AllezLesLions (@AllezLesLions) November 15, 2019

It was a chic triumph, which led to Nkono turning into the primary and solely goalkeeper to win the African Participant of the 12 months award.

Nonetheless hungry after an unprecedented Champions’ Cup-Winners Cup back-to-back triumphs, Theophile ‘Physician’ Abega, Gregoire Mbida, the evergreen Jean Onguene, Jean Daniel Eboue, Ephrem Mbom, Ibrahim Audu, and the peerless Nkono have been within the hunt for a 3rd Champions Cup title.

Not like the earlier African crowns, Nkono’s band now needed to win their title outdoors their den of the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

Within the first leg, in Garoua, they have been held to a shock 2-2 draw by Congolese facet AS Bilima, who had eradicated Canon’s countrymen—Union Douala—within the earlier spherical.

It left Union with all of it to do in Zaire.

Hafia Conakry have been the very best group in Africa on the time:

1972: Gained the #CAFCL

1975: Gained the #CAFCL

1976: Misplaced within the last to MC Alger

1977: Gained the #CAFCL

1978: Misplaced within the last to Canon Yaoundé

They reached the #CAFCL last 5 occasions in 7 years, successful 3 occasions pic.twitter.com/49fXQubBxx

— DZfoot English 🇩🇿 (at 🏠) (@DZfoot_EN) March 29, 2020

Two weeks later within the legendary Tata Raphael cathedral, theatre of historic occasions, and in entrance of an extremely optimistic crowd, ready for the crowning of their champions US Bilima, three cannon photographs from the veteran Onguene Manga and Dr Abega translated Canon’s domination into objectives and steered their facet in direction of a 3-0 victory and a deserved third African Cup of Champions.

Canon’s ‘Galacticos’, and their flamboyant soccer, had reached the top of African soccer, and the masterclass embodied—completely—the type and panache they boasted throughout their earlier years of dominance.

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