27 September 2014 07:10
Ivorian side, Sewe became the first side to reach the final of the 2014 Orange CAF Confederation Cup after holding AC Leopards of Congo to a barren draw on Saturday in Dolisie.
The Ivorians booked their place thanks to a lone goal victory in the first leg last week in Abidjan, advancing 1-0 on aggregate.
Sewe Sport becomes the first Ivorian side since 1998 to reach the final of a major continental club championship, after rivals ASEC Mimosas beat Dynamos of Zimbabwe to win the CAF Champions League 16-years ago.
And they achieved the feat in grand style at the home grounds of AC Leopards, winners of the competition two years ago, upsetting the Congolese who celebrated at the same venue in 2012.
Leopards dominated possession throughout the game but were denied by the resolute defence of the visitors coupled with some good saves from goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo.
From the onset, the hosts kept the backline of Sewe Sport on their toes in search of an early goal that would have opened up the contest. However, they failed to make their dominance count on the scoring cards.
After a barren first half, Leopards resumed on the same tempo with captain Rudy Bhebey Ndey and Ntela Kalema leading the raids into the halve of the Ivorians. The visitors were swift on the counter but the hosts survived their countable attempts at goal by Roger Assale and Joseph Kameni.
On 61 minutes, Assale beat his marker before laying a perfect cross, but Kameni failed to tap in from close range.
Eight minutes later, Leopards captain Ndey was withdrawn for Bine Drame as coach Patrick Aussems varied his attacking options. On 75 minutes, Ntela was fouled at the edge of penalty area for a free-kick, but his curling effort missed target narrowly.
The remaining minutes was played virtually in the halve of the Ivorians as the host threw all their men upfront in their quest to break the deadlock. On 83 minutes, Gbohouo made a good save off a Drame header and Ngoran Kouadio also blocked a shot by substitute Heritier Ngouelou two minutes later.
The visitors held on through the five minutes of added-on time to cruise to the historic feat of being the first Ivorian side to reach the final of the competition incepted in 2004 as a merger of the African Cup Winners’ Cup and CAF Cup.
They are due to face either Egyptian giants, Al-Ahly or Coton Sport of Cameroon in the final.
The winner of the secondary continental club championship will pocket $660,000 and will also face the winner of the CAF Champions League in next year’s CAF Super Cup.