It finished 1-2 between Coton Sport and JS Kabylie in the first leg of the CAF Conference Cup semi-final at Amadou Adhidjo stadium and it was a fascinating encounter in so many ways.
We had many questions coming into it and now we have even more ahead of the second leg in Algeria on Sunday. Here comes a look at the questions that were answered and the new doubts this clash threw up.
1. 4-1-4-1 With Francis Tombi or 4-3-3 With Daouda Kamilou?
You should never rule anything out with Soulemanou, but coming into this game it seemed there were just two likely tactical set-ups for this game. Either a 4-1-4-1 with Francis or a 4-3-3 with Kamilou. Coach Soulemanou opted for the former, making this the 4th defensive line used by Coton Sport in the CAf Confederation Cup this season. That’s right. Hassan, Banga, Etame and Bawak have played together before this season, but it sure looked like this was their first match together over the first 15 minutes. JS Kabylie caused Coton sport defence all kinds of problems even before Lambert Ariana’s goal. But, as the match went on, Coton Sport back line got better. The rain actually seemed to help as the ball spun away from JS Kabylie on a number of occasions as they tried to counter attack. Eventually, in the 80th minute, Soulemanou switched to the 4-3-3 with the introduction of Boubkari Dairou for Souibou Marou and later Kamilou for Francis Tombi,
2. Could Souibou Marou give Ahmed Mohamed the same nightmares he gave Luka Ng’uni?
Souibou Marou has been one of the stars of Coton Sport CAF Cup campaign, but this time he was going up against a very different kind of right-back but Ahmed Mohamed is a defender first and foremost. There isn’t going to be much space around the Algerian to exploit, so Souibou would have to do his work with pace and trickery. And, on a few occasions, he did. Yet, as was to be expected, the Cameroonian wasn’t quite as impactful as in other games.
3. Would The Referee look to punish Coton Sport for their Complain Against The Egyptian Referee?
Coming into this game, there was a wild conspiracy theory that CAF had instructed an Egyptian to referee the game in a biased way against Coton Sport because of JS Kabylie involvement and from North Africa. So, would that be the case? No, because it was a ridiculous suggestion on every level. The Egyptian referee had a good game, making correct decisions. The only time he was really noticed was when his canceled a clear goal that crossed the line even after the VAR check. Well done to him for dealing with the silly added pressure