Monday, July 21, 2008


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KUMASI Asante Kotoko go into battle against Libya’s Al-Ittihad in the second leg final qualifier for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday, without three top players.
Defender Harrison Afful is in Holland chasing a contract with Feyenoord, while his defensive partner, Samuel Inkoom ,and skipper Emmanuel Osei Kuffour are on suspension for attracting two yellow cards and a red card respectively.
That notwithstanding, expectations are very high in Kumasi as the fans are already predicting 3-0 and 4-0 score lines.
Kotoko, who lost 1-2 in the first leg in Tripoli, have the advantage of making it to the next stage, and judging by their pedigree on the continent, it looks like the Porcupine Warriors would advance.
The two, times African champions played very well in Tripoli and but for poor officiating they would have at least returned home with a draw.
Club football, however, has undergone changes and today no side should be taken for granted.
Having lost the final of the 2004 competition to bitter rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak, before thousands of their fans in Kumasi, Kotoko believe that this is an opportunity for them to make amends.
Since that loss to Hearts of Oak, Kotoko have haboured an agenda to grab the trophy and this year is a fine opportunity for them to realise their ambition, looking at their fine form.
They management of the club has promised to do everything to motivate the team to enable them win on Sunday.
Sylvester Asare Owusu, CEO of Asante Kotoko, said, even though many of their supporters see Sunday’s match as a done deal, management thought otherwise because anything could happen in football.
Consequently, they were doing getting their act together to make victory a surety.
With Harrison and Inkoom out of the game, fans should expect Osei Kwame Jnr and Godfred Yeboah to man the left and right back positions.
Players like Daniel Nii Adjei, Kwabena Yaro, Eric Bekoe and Kwame Obeng Darko would all be available on Sunday and much is expected of them.
Top striker, Bekoe, must be extra sharp on the day to fetch the needed goals.

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