Cameroonian forward Karl Toko Ekambi and French outfit Olympique Lyonnais have qualified for the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League after knocking out Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus on away goal basis.
Meeting at the Allianz Stadium on Friday August 7, 2020, Toko Ekambi and teammates put up resilient performances against the Old Ladies. Leading the attack alongside Memphis Depay, the 27 year old showed determination and remained a threat to Maurizio Sarri and boys who appeared vulnerable to the self-confidence put forward by the visitors.
At the 14th minute, the team’s efforts paid off. Rudi Garcia’s boys won a penalty following foul on the team’s midfielder and subsequent man of the match, 22 year old Houssem Aouar brought down by Rodrigo Bentancur. A penalty transformed with a panaka chip-in by Memphis Depay to put the visitors a goal up on the night and 2 goals up on aggregate.
With the Old Ladies in need of 3 goals to turn-around the situation, efforts by Portuguese football magician, Cristiano Ronaldo proved insufficient as his two goals scored at the 45th minute from the penalty spot and a 60th minute rocket strike failed to hit needed the mark.
The 2-1 defeat to Juventus saw Ekambi and Lyon go through to the quarter finals on away goal basis following a 1 nil win against the Italian Series A champions in February.
It was Lyon’s first quarter final qualification since the 2009/2010 season where their fairy tale run saw them reaching the semifinal of the competition after knocking out Real Madrid and Bordeaux at the round of 16 and quarter finals respectively before being eliminated by German outfit Bayern Munchen at the semis.
Ironically, it is the first time Cristiano Ronaldo will be missing the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League since the 2009/2010 season and Juventus debut absence from the last 8 since the 2015/2016 season under manager Massimiliano Allegri
The team will clash with Manchester City at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Tuesday August 15, 2020 at the quarter finals in Lisbon, Portugal. Manchester City knocked out Real Madrid to reach the final 8.
DEWAH Fabrice TEH