Posted by: westafricanfootball | 21/07/2011

RAJA CASABLANCA vs COTONSPORT FC

On 16.07.2011, a friend of mine, who is working in the football industry, witnessed the Orange CAF Champions League match between Raja Casablanca of Morocco and Cotonsport FC of Cameroon. The match ended 0-0.

My friend was impressed with several of the players at Cotonsport FC and had some comments to the ones he found most interesting.

The towering central defender Epassi Ewonde (born 19.08.1988) was apparently rock solid at the heart of the Cotonsport-defence. Ewonde, signed from Ngaoundéré University FC before the current season, has been a regular player for Cotonsport FC during the MTN Elite One 2010-2011.

My friend describes Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (born 22.06.1991) as an interesting left-back with all-round qualities but without any particular strenghts. He is rather average in size, rather fast and a good distributor of the ball. Being only 20 years old, Oyongo Bitolo could very well blossom into an quality player.

Oyongo Bitolo was presented in my post from 25.11.2010:

https://westafricanfootball.com/2010/11/25/players-to-watch-mtn-elite-one-2010-2011-cameroon/

Moussa Souleymanou (born 12.10.1994) is only 16 years old and played the first half as a left-winger in the 4-3-3 system of Cotonsport FC. Souleymanou was described as a very quick, tricky player who struggled to make a huge impression but showed glimpses of his qualities when he got the ball and was able to challenge the Raja-defenders with his speed and dribbles.

Souleymanou was part of the Cameroon U-17 national football team in 2010 and is widely considered to be one of the biggest talents at Cotonsport FC. Apparently, several top clubs are already following the youngster. Although Souleymanou played as a winger this match, he is often used as a left-back or as a left-sided midfielder.Souleymanou is a very small player, apparently about 165 centimeters.

Souleymanou has recently forced his way into the first team of Cotonsport FC. He has already scored his first goal in the MTN Elite One.

Cotonsport FC played with three central midfielders in a 4-3-3 formation. The defensive midfielder was André Ndame Ndame (born 30.04.1984), while Nack Balokog (born 10.09.1986) and Chardin Madila Mfoutou (born 15.04.1990) had more attacking roles beside Ndame Ndame. My friend was really impressed with this trio. Ndame Ndame was the most physical of the players and was described as a very strong player. All three players showed accurate passing, great close control and they always seemed to find creative solution when being pressured by the Raja-midfielders. All players have featured regularly for Cotonsport FC this season, especially Balokog and Ndame Ndame should be considered as key players. Balokog has also weighed in his fair share of league goals, at least four at the time of writing. Madila started the season somewhat quiet but has apparently been in great form during the last couple of months. Madila is from the Republic of Congo and was recently added in the squad of the Congo national football team.

Please note that I write that André Ndame Ndame is born 30.04.1984, while he is born 30.11.1987 according to most other sources. The birthdate 30.04.1984 is taken from http://www.lechabba.com but I cannot say that I am 100 percent sure about which is the correct one.

Jacques Haman (born 30.08.1994) played as a right-winger and my friend could immediately see that Haman is a great talent. However, he described Haman as more of a center forward type of player and suggested that Haman and center forward Hilaire Momi (born 16.03.1990) could create an amazing striking duo. Haman is quite strong despite his young age and through his speed and dribbles he caused problems for the Raja-defence. However, he did not get the ball as much as he would have preferred. Momi, the full international striker for the Central African Republic, worked very hard all afternoon but was at times playing like a lone striker, without any backup from the wingers or central midfielders. Momi was described as an all-round striker with no particular weaknesses and no particular strenghts. However, he is a burly striker who is difficult to face and it rather obvious that Momi is the best striker in the MTN Elite One 2010-2011. He has scored at least 14 league goals at the time of writing. Momi was presented in my post from 10.10.2010:

https://westafricanfootball.com/2010/10/10/hilaire-momi/

Momi was sent off in the second half for two yellow cards, both were apparently questionable.

Left-winger Edgar Salli (born 17.08.1992)  replaced Souleymanou before the second half. Salli proved to be a very tricky winger, rather small in stature, but an exciting player to watch. Salli has previously been presented in this post: https://westafricanfootball.com/2010/10/09/edgard-salli. There has been a lot of speculation regarding Salli this summer, but he was recently presented as a new signing at AS Monaco in the French league:

http://www.asm-fc.com/joueur.aspx?saison=12&joueur=349&equipe=1

The other players involved in the match was goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly (born 19.08.1983), the full international player from Niger, central defender Amban Kwin (born 14.01.1990), right-back Amadou Kader (born 03.04.1989) from Niger and midfielder Baba Ousmaila (born 26.09.1986). Kwin, a very athletic, steady and talented central defender, was unfortunately injured early in the first half. My friend was nevertheless impressed with the physical presence of this exciting prospect.

When Kwin was injured, Amadou Kader was drawn into the central defence. Kader played a good match but was not as impressive as Ewonde, rather naturally as Kader is primarliy a right-back. Baba Ousmaila, who replaced Kwin, played at right-back. He is most comfortable as a central midfielder.

I personally believe several of the Cotonsport-players have the potential to play at a very high level. I expect both Momi and Salli to be sold during the summer but I also think some of the unsung heroes, such as Ndame Ndame, Ewonde and Balokog, should be interesting for ambitious mid-level European clubs. Souleymanou and Haman is such amazing talents that they should be good enough for youth teams of one of the really big clubs in the world.

The picture of Cotonsport FC is taken from MTN Football.


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