Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Will it be an encore for Asante Kotoko, or revenge for JS Kabylie? This is the question crying for an answer as Asante Kotoko jet out tomorrow for a return Group B encounter of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Having stung JSK 3-1 in Kumasi last Saturday, Asante Kotoko definitely will be seeking to keep their hopes alive. On the other side, JSK will attempt to go for the kill and lift themselves from the bottom placing where they now find themselves.
Kotoko are aiming for at least a draw to cushion them towards clinching the leadership of Group B in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Having jumped from the last position to the second spot after last weekend's matches, Kotoko must have warmed themselves into the competition.
The 3-1 defeat could be demoralising, but JSK could draw inspiration from developments so far in a group where home teams are winning their matches.
The Algerian side did not show the strength and ability that could make them so devastating at home. But the fact that they accounted for leaders, Etoile du Sahel, 1-0 in Algeria gives an indication of how troublesome they could be if let loose.
That was why Coach Bashir Hayford sounded caution that his team would go all out because JSK could capitalise on the so-called home advantage to cause trouble for Kotoko.
Africa club football provides a lot of interesting developments and the possibility of Kotoko meeting some challenges cannot be ruled out.
Playing in Kumasi, JSK were very rugged. Perhaps they did that to make up for their deficiency in skills and craft.
They will surely change their game at home by going for the attack, and this is where Kotoko should be careful at the back.
Nouri Ouznadji and Taeib Maroci, who led their attack in Kumasi, showed superiority in the air and Kotoko should better devise the strategy to contain them in that respect.
The team that Coach Hayford paraded for last Saturday's game was superb until they allowed complacency to get the better of them in the latter part of the match which resulted in the one goal they conceded with seconds to go.
If this is a psychological challenge, then a psychologist must be attached to the team if they do not have one.
It has been hammered home again and again how goals are crucial in this competition.
A line-up that will include Oduro, Kwadwo Poku, Eric Bekoe, Jordan Poku and Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor, among other tried and tested players, should be able to hold their own against the threat from JSK.

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