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Coton Sport seek to upset Ahly

Nick Cavell
BBC Sport, Garoua

Ahly take on Coton Sport in the first leg
Ahly won their first leg clash with Coton Sport

Cameroon's Coton Sport are counting on their impressive home record in the Champions League to help them win the title for the first time on Sunday.

The Garoua-based side face an uphill task as they host five-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt, who hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg two weeks ago.

But the Cameroonians are strong at home as they won all seven matches en-route to the final by scoring 18 goals, conceding none.

Coton Sport won successive home games against Vital'O of Burundi (1-0), Gombe of Nigeria (5-0), JS Kabylie of Algeria (3-0) and TP Mazembe of DR Congo (1-0).

They also defeated Al Hilal of Sudan (1-0), Enyimba of Nigeria (3-0) before crushing Dynamos of Zimbabwe 4-0 to reach the final.

Their Ivory Coast-born coach Alain Ouombleon is confident the home fans will cheer the team to overturn the deficit and lift their first continental crown.

"The fans will come to the game in their numbers to support the team as this strategy has helped us from the start of this competition," Ouombleon told BBC Sport.

"We need to take a lot of risk if we are to win the trophy and that is by finding the right balance between the attack and defence.

When we play at home we are always under pressure from the fans. But we perform well away when under no pressure

Manuel Jose

"That is why it is important that our supporters should not only buy their tickets and sit to watch the game but they must give their best support."

While Coton Sport's bid for the title suffered a jolt with the suspension of captain Ahmadou Ngomna, their opponents have been boosted by the return of midfielder Ahmed Fathi from injury.

But Ahly, who boast some of the continent's best players, will rely on top scorer Flavio Amado and influential midfielder Mohamed Aboutraika for a potential title-clinching away goal.

Their Portuguese coach Manuel Jose is confident they can grab a record sixth Champions League title because of their good away form.

"When we play at home we are always under pressure from the fans. But we perform well away when under no pressure. Ahly have the best footballers in Africa and we should go for a win wherever we play," Jose said.

"I'm glad we prevented Coton Sport from scoring in Cairo because had they done so our mission in Cameroon would have been much harder."

Despite the confidence oozing from Coton Sport, they are aware that overturning two-goal deficits in the history of the final of the Champions League are very few and far between.

The last time a club achieved this feat was in 1986 when Africa Sports of Ivory Coast cancelled out a 2-0 first leg defeat to Zamalek only to lose 4-2 on penalties to the Egyptians.

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see also
Champions League statistics
18 Oct 08 |  African
Coton Sport turn up heat on Ahly
13 Nov 08 |  African
Al Ahly 2 Coton Sport 0
02 Nov 08 |  African


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