The final of the annual knockout competition, which also marked the end of the 2022/2023 sports season, took placed yesterday at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
PWD headed for the encounter with some heap of confidence, despite losing some key players to the transfer market.
Roared by hundreds of their supporters, who braved the odds to travel to Yaounde, from nock and crannies of the country, the Abakwa Boys were determined to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet.
But things did not go as planned as the Bamenda-based outfit endured a frustrating afternoon.
They fell behind within the opening minutes when Fovu Club raced into an early lead.
Hansi Mbappe Muller collected a fine through pass, rounded the keeper, before slotting the ball into an empty net.
The Abakwa Boys dug deep for an equaliser but failed to hit the target.
They managed to create some openings in the final third but also looked vulnerable in the other side of the pitch.
Despite the sporadic threats from PWD Bamenda, Fovu Club remained in complete control of the game although they faded form.
Fovu Club, who had been silent for most part of the second half, took the game to bed late on in the game.
Fovu's captain, Ngando Cyrille, took up goal scoring duties and sealed the win for his team from a free kick after PWD Bamenda goalkeeper misjudged the trajectory of the threatening shot.
PWD of Bamenda tried to find their way back into the game but met stiff resistance from the Fovu defence which had been unperturbed for large spells of the game.
Things ended in tears for the Abakwa Boys as they suffered a familiar feeling of defeat in the final.
There were signs of frustration and disappointment on the faces of PWD supporters at the blast of the final whistle.
Prior to the final, PWD had received a huge boost from elite of the North West Region and their supporters who raised and handed a whopping sum of 50 million FCFA to the team’s management.
The defeat against Fovu Club capped off an unsuccessful season for PWD of Bamenda. After being unable to stamp their mark in the championship, PWD of Bamenda was keen to redeeming themselves by bringing home another Cup title.
The Abakwa Boys were arguably one of the most impressive teams during the Cup of Cameroon. They played a total of five matches before reaching the 2023 Cup of Cameroon final.
PWD has featured in the Cup of Cameroon final four times in their history: 1967, 1979, 2021 and 2023 editions.
They have succeeded in lifting the trophy just once. That in during the 2021 edition when they defeated Astres Douala 1-0.
Coach says absence of key players to blame
PWD of Bamenda head coach, Constantine Bep, who looked dejected after the defeat, said besides Fovu being a stronger opponent, the fact that several key players left the club during the transfer window, made things even more complicated.
“It was a very difficult match for us as a team. The opponent was much stronger than us. Once they got the first goal, it became more complicated for us. Things got out of hand when they got the second goal,” Coach Bep said.
“I can say the defeat can be partly blamed on the fact that we lost several of our key players. But that is not the focus for now, even if the guys are not around in the next matches, the team will still play,”.
Fovu ends trophy drought
By winning the Cup title, the West Region Elite One club, made up for their previous Cup final defeats as they ended their 13-year trophy drought.
The newly crowned Cup champions lifted their third Cup of Cameroon title yesterday. They have previously tasted success in 2001 and 2010.
The win also helped Fovu to consolidate their spot as one of the most successful clubs in the competition.
They now join Oryx of Douala, Diamant of Yaounde and Dynamo of Douala, who have each won the title three times.
It was also a significant day for the head coach of Fovu Club, Sango Emmanuel Doumbe Bosso.
The astute gaffer was leading a team to the Cup of Cameroon final for the sixth time in his coaching career. Yesterday’s victory was the third title of his managerial career.
Doumbe Bosso led Yong Sport Academy to Cup title in 2013 but failed to repeat the same exploit with clubs like Astres of Douala, Panthere Sportive of Nde and Bamboutos of Mbouda.
Fovu’s triumph at this year’s football Cup of Cameroon guarantees them a spot at next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
They will be making their return to the CAF inter-club competition after a preliminary round exit in 2011.
Mbappe Muller Man of The Match
At the close of the final, Fovu Club of Baham’s star, Mbappe Muller, was voted Man of The Match.
He received a cash prize of 2 million FCFA from one of the sponsors of the league.
Speaking after receiving the distinction, the forward said: “I feel honoured getting this distinction of Man of The Match. This is the fruit of teamwork. We are very happy getting this trophy. We worked so hard during our different training sessions and are very happy that it paid off on the pitch today. I am happy that I was able to score too”.
Sunday’s Cup of Cameroon final was presided over by the Prime Minister Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Ndion Ngute.
The PM was representing the President of the Republic, Paul Biya at the final.
The final was attended by members of government, presidents of the country’s sports federations, members of the diplomatic corps, and former footballers amongst other dignitaries.
By Beng Emmanuel Kum & Dewah Fabrice Teh