Legendary football club, PWD of Bamenda in the restive English-speaking region has won the 2021 edition of the Cameroon Cup.
The “Abakwa Boys” defeated Les Astres of Douala by 1-nil at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in a match watched amongst others, by the country’s Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute who represented President Paul Biya. He was flanked by FECAFOOT boss, Samuel Eto’o.
While Les Astres of Douala dominated play and created the chances, it was PWD that capitalized on some sloppy goalkeeping from the Douala boys’ shot-stopper Jourdain Mbaynassem. He stretched his hands beyond his area to get a relatively easy ball to get.
The resulting spot-kick was elegantly transformed by Hubert Chem to give the ‘Abakwa Boys’ the lead, and ultimately the victory.
“It was a game we could have won. I think we lacked experience and efficiency. We had chances and we made mistakes that cost us dearly. We didn’t push our opponent very much. That’s the sad reality. PWD deserve their victory,” said Anicet Mbarga, Les Astres’ coach, in his post-match press briefing.
It’s the first time PWD are winning the competition, coming 43 years after their last attempt when they were beaten at the final by Dynamo of Douala in 1979 by 3-1.
The team first reached the final in 1967 but fell to Canon of Yaounde 0-1.
Les Astres players went home in tears, understandably so because this was their fourth attempt at the final.
The ‘Brazilians of Bepanda’ as the team from Douala are fondly called made their first attempt in 2007 when they lost 0-1 to Cotton Sports of Garoua, In 2009, they lost 2-3 to Panthère of Nde, and in 2010, they were defeated 1-2 by Fovu of Baham.
Calls for a Stadium in Bamenda
PDW fans went into a frenzy at the blast of the final whistle. They invaded the pitch. They flew banners on which were written: “We need a Stadium in Bamenda.”
The message was clearly directed at FECAFOOT President, Samuel Eto’o who, as a candidate for the FECAFOOT Presidency, promised to build stadiums in every regional headquarter of Cameroon.
Social media has reacted variously to the appeal of the fans.
One of them who identifies simply as JMG agrees with the fans: “It’s normal. The city of Bamenda has the right to have a big stadium like Japoma.”
Lucide, another social media user takes a more critical look at the type of grievances Cameroonians love to raise, suggesting rather that “it would be better to demand hospitals, modern public schools and especially 100% local transformation factories from raw material to finished products…this would automatically generate by domino effect, the construction of places of entertainment (stadiums,…)
“In Paul Biya’s Cameroon, we always start with the roof…we build without a foundation.”