Thursday, March 4, 2010


COACH Paa Kwesi Fabin says Ghanaians should expect a totally committed Asante Kotoko roaring back into contention in the CAF Champions League with a team performance against ASC Linguere at the Ohene Djan Stadium on Sunday.
 Kotoko, the only Ghanaian representative in Africa this year, desperately needs a three-goal difference to book a place and much pressure will be on the coach to produce a team of quality to perform the task.
Mr Fabin who earned some plaudits after guiding his side to beat Bechem Chelsea 2-0 in a Glo Premier match in Kumasi last Wednesday told the Graphic Sports today that, “the victory is a morale booster and we hope to play and win on Sunday.”
“If we have lost against Chelsea the consequences would have been something else,” Paa Kwesi said. 
Attempts to build a winsome team have foundered amid criticisms of the coach’s tactics.
But in spite of the occasional criticisms of his strategy, tactics and selection, the coach has not been distracted from his action plan for the team and he has Sunday to prove a point.
He has never doubted the ability of his side challenging the continental diadem and says, “Sunday will prove a point.”
“Yes, we have been vulnerable but you can see now that the team has improved and ready to take on the rest of Africa,” Fabin said 
Kotoko fans would take solace in the fact that the two times Africa champions have the experience to overcome the 0-2 deficit and book a place in the next stage of the competition.
Indeed, the gulf in experience between Kotoko and Linguere is enormous but I can see the visitors appearing a gritty and determined side in a bid to make nonsense of the experience equation.
Before the first leg tie, there was no history with respect to matches between the two combatants but having sized themselves up, expect a grudge battle on Sunday.
Surely the Senegalese champions would come with a clear determination to frustrate their opponents to protect their two-goal advantage.
Reports from the fist leg spoke about a Senegalese team that exhibited strong body language and swift passing movements and Kotoko can only provide a steely defence to check their breaks.
Ameth Diallo, Adama Ba and Habib Diop are fantastic players who can create problems for Kotoko and the home team can only watch out.
It appears that the Kotoko team that played against Chelsea will bear some resemblance of the starting line on Sunday.
It is not however known whether the coach will give the senior players – Alex Asamoah and Kwadwo Poku – places in the team at the expense of the young ones who had played over the period.
“You could see in the game against Chelsea that Kwadwo Poku showed some rough edges last Wednesday. 
“W e are still monitoring him and Alex Asamoah to see what to do,” Mr Fabin said.
Isaac Amoako who has shown improved form would likely be in post as the last line of defence behind Prince Anokye, Gideon Baah, Isaac Owusu and Ofosu Appiah.
In the middle, Ganiyu Haruna may play right in front of the defence with Jordan Opoku, Frank Boateng, Edward Affum and Samad Oppong supporting the attack of Kabiru Moro and Stephen Manu.
But there is the question of whether Kotoko have practiced penalty taking in case of a shoot out.

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