CAF Confed Cup: It’s payback time for Kotoko

Author: Peter Sarbah

Kumasi Asante Kotoko will be under pressure to pay back Nkana FC in tomorrow’s CAF Confederation Cup clash at the Baba Yara Stadium.

The Porcupine Warriors who were desperate to scupper the Zambian side’s home invincibility, ended up suffering a 3-1 defeat in Kitwe last Sunday, thus jeopardising their qualification chances.

The Garden City lads are bottom in Group C with only three points and must fight for a good outcome tomorrow to steer back in contention for one of the two slots reserved for the group.

It appears a herculean task for Coach C.K. Akonnor who must work extra hard to psyche his boys whose egos were deflated following the defeat to Nkana FC.

The club has also been dealt a major blow following the suspension of their skipper, Amos Frimpong, for accumulated yellow cards, creating a vacuum for Akonnor to fill.

Although Coach Akonnor will miss Frimpong, he believes it may not affect his team much because he has a good replacement for his regular wing-back.

“It’s unfortunate Amos won’t be available for us. He is a very important player but I think we have equally good players who can replace him,” he said on the team’s arrival from Zambia on Tuesday.

“I have Darkwah and Abass who are all left-backs and can play in that position so I believe that will be sorted”, he explained

“We lacked understanding of the aerial situations and it cost us on the day. I had the players who I thought were capable of doing the job for us but they could not deliver and we failed as a team”, Akonnor rued the blunders which cost them in the first leg.

This means the 44-year-old ex-Ghana skipper must work hard on his defence before tomorrow’s game.
Buoyed by their victory over Kotoko, Nkana will be aiming to achieve a double over their hosts with goal poachers, Walter Bwalya, Freddy Tshimenga, and Ronald "Sate Sate" Kampamba seeking to add to their tally.

Interestingly, the Zambians will also be without their Ghanaian import, Richard Ocran, who received a red card during their first game.