Tried as hard as they could but Dolphins could not overcome Coton Sports FC in the 2nd leg 2nd round CAF Champions League clash in Garoua.
Taking a slim 2-1 advantage to the 2nd leg, it took CotonSport just 20 minutes to cancel out Dolphins 2-1 win when Jacques Haman rose above to Dolphins defence to score.
It was the same Haman who got the away goal in Port Harcourt two weeks ago.
With a midfield controlled by Congolese international Makaya Baya, Dolphins were at the receiving end for the rest of the first half as the defence of Kennedy Chinwo, Victor Ezuruike, Festus Austin and Victor Babayaro were the busiest on the pitch.
Time and time again, Gaya easily went past his marker, Seidu Abuu who was slow and out of sorts but Haman’s lackadaisical attitude in front of goal ensured he either blasted wide or shot into the hands of Sunday Rotimi in Dolphins goal.
Dolphins had their moments in the first half but the strike force of Ifeanyi Egwim and Emma Nwachi never seemed like they were going to score.
Cletus Itodo, getting a rare start for the team since joining from Sunshine Stars was played out of position on the right wing and was rather ineffective in the time he spent on the pitch.
The second half resumed with the Garoua sun going down and Dolphins coming out of the shells to attack to the surprise of the home fans who were on the edge of their seats for the last thirty minutes of the game.
Midway into the second half, Jeleel Ajagun combined pretty with Chidi Osuchukwu and Ajagun’s sublime pass freed Nwachi who only needed to put the ball behind the goalkeeper, but he mis-kicked when it would have been easier to score.
Omoh Ojabu came in for Egwim who was taken off injured and he continued to run at the defence but his last ball was never good enough.
Kennedy Chinwo let a free kick go with just 20 minutes left to play and it took the goalkeeper, DAOUDA KASSALY-DAOUDA to punch clear for a corner.
In added time, Omoh Ojabu had a chance to draw level but he failed to score when he got a loose ball right in the 6 yard box as the relieved fans and officials of Coton Sport celebrated their qualification to the 3rd round of the competition.
Dolphins head coach, Stanley Eguma said after the game that the weather affected his team especially in the first half.
“It was a good game. The two teams played very well especially in the second half. In the first half the weather affected my boys but in the second we had series of scoring chances but failed to put them away. My boys did well. They tried,” Eguma said.
Cotton sport coach, Robert Biovin simply said they are happy with the win and will now focus on other matches.
“We have a game in the Cameroonian championships and then we play against a side from Ghana (Berekum Chelsea) in the next stage of the CAF Champions League.
“Dolphins were difficult to beat but we are happy we are through and we will now concentrate on other games.” Biovin said.