25 December 2012

Cameroon: Unisport's Long Walk to Glory

After three unsuccessful attempts at the cup title, Unisport of the Upper Nkam Division finally made it on Sunday December 23rd by lifting the trophy for the first time in the history of the club. Previous campaigns for national glory were thwarted in the finals by Kumbo Strikers, Impots FC and Coton Sport in 2001, 2005 and 2011 respectively. This time around, the "Tam Koué" broke the deadlock with a convincing 2-0 victory over New Stars of Douala in finals of the 53rd edition of the football Cup of Cameroon. True to their motto, 'fight to finish' Unisport demonstrated more thirst for victory dominating the game from the beginning to the end to obtain a well deserved victory recognized by their opponents of the day, New Stars whose president, Faustin Domkeu congratulated them.

The victory is a tall dream, come true for the 52-year-old club created from a merger between Jupiter and Tortue football clubs of Bafang in 1958. The rough ride to the 2012 final comprised 4 victories, 2 draws and one defeat. The 'torch bearers of the West region began the campaign with a 5-1 trouncing over little known Begna F C of Yaoundé in the 32th final. Then the club run by Emmanuel Leubou went on to but out another Yaounde club, San Etienno in the 16th finals. At the 8th finals Unisport edged Dragon 2-1 on aggregate and sail through the quarter finals by a stroke of luck as they were tied at 2-2 each way after two matches with Astres and Unisport clinched a semi final berth thanks to the away goal advantage. The semi final was played both on and off the pitch as Unisport had to wait three weeks for the verdict of the homologation and disciplinary committee to confirm the 5-1 victory over Caiman in the return leg semi final match.

The cup title comes to add to the championship title won in 1996 and also offers the club a place in the African Confederations Cup next year. It took 33 years after ascending to the first division for Unisport to win the championship title and 52 years since the creation of the club to win the Cup title. The only hope is that it should not take the boys of Pierre Ndjili another generation to make their imprint on the African scene.

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