JOHANNESBURG, Nov 21 – Cameroonian striker Francois Endene Elokan will miss the CAF Cup final second leg on Sunday in his home country after being suspended for indiscipline by his Moroccan club Raja Casablanca.
Endene Elokan, benched for the first leg earlier this month but the creator of key goals in the earlier rounds, was left out of the travelling party heading for Cameroon where they meet newly crowned Cameroon champions Cotonsport in Garoua.
Raja lead 2-0 from the first leg at home. No precise reason was given for Endene Elokan’s omission but there is no shortage of talent up front for coach Henri Michel for Sunday’s return game.
The former French captain and coach could afford to leave the competition’s leading goal scorer Hichem Aboucherouane on the bench for the second leg, preferring to start with Mustapha Bidouane and Senegal’s Mohamed Ali Diallo.
They rewarded their coach’s faith with a goal apiece in the first leg victory.
Aboucherouane misses Sunday’s second leg because of his proposed transfer to a club in Qatar.
“Raja are going to suffer in the return game with the conditions and the atmosphere. Despite our defeat in the first leg I’m still confident we can win the game,” said Lamine Ndiaye, coach of Cotonsport, this week.
“I don’t think the score line reflected the balance of play and the referee also played a part in our loss. It is a score line we can overcome.”
Cotonsport clinched the Cameroon premier league title here days after returning home from Casablanca and have won one more match since in a confident build-up to Sunday’s game.
Raja’s morale was boosted on Sunday with a 1-0 win over arch rivals Wydad Casablanca in a derby. Raja are seeking to win their fourth African club competition title and Cotonsport their first.
Sunday’s match is the last of the CAF Cup ties, first introduced in 1992.
Next year it is to be combined in the African Cup Winners’ Cup to make a new competition, the Confederations Cup.
By Mark Gleeson