“There is one thing on the minds of all the players and that is, to win the game on Saturday to make ourselves and the teeming fans happy.” These were the words of Obuasi Ashantigold defender, Eric Donkor, who is confident that his team will edge out Equatorial Guinean side Akonangui FC from the second-tier Total CAF CAF Confederation Cup as they seek to move a step closer to the Group stages.
Ashantigold will take on the Central African side in the second leg CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round qualifier at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi on Saturday, a venue where many visiting teams have fallen.
The Miners a fortnight ago drew 1-1 in the first leg at the Ebebiyin Stadium in Equatorial Guinea.
And this, Donkor, believes would spur them on to finish the duel and edge closer to the lucrative group stage.
As one of the most experienced players in the youthful Ashantigold setup, having won several laurels during his over seven-year stay with regional rivals, Asante Kotoko, Donkor is very much aware of the ins and outs of continental club football.
"It was a good away result for us in the first leg and we are happy about it, though I personally feel we should have won the game looking at our performance. We are still preparing for the game with one thing on our minds, and that is to beat Akonangui and qualify to the next stage of the competition.”
Eric Donkor is confident Ashantigold will go through
Saturday's clash will be the first for the Miners in front of their home crowd in three years, and the defender is aware of how expectant the home fans are on the return of continental football and what qualification will mean to them.
The team will welcome the return of inspirational skipper Shafiu Mumuni whose absence in the first leg affected the team’s quest for victory.
Having trained with the side for the past few days, Mumuni is expected to be in the team, which is a huge boost for the Miners.
“Mumuni (Shafiu) is an inspiration to the team. He manages to lift the team up when the going gets tough and his presence will add more bite to our play upfront in Saturday’s game,” Donkor stated.
"We are not out of the woods yet. We still have to qualify and winning on Saturday is the only way. The draw in Equatorial Guinea has boosted our morale because even before that game, we knew nothing about them. Now we have a fair idea of the side we are dealing with. There's nothing to be complacent about, all we know is that we have to win and make our fans very happy", he added.
Friday, August 23
Santoba (Guinea) vs Niger Tornadoes (Nigeria) (2-1)
El Khartoum (Sudan) vs Arta Solar7 (Djibouti) (1-1)
KMC (Tanzania) vs AS Kigali (Rwanda) (0-0)
Ahly Shandy (Sudan) vs Bandari (Kenya) (0-0)
Saturday, August 24
ESAE (Benin) vs ASC SNIM (Mauritania) (5-0)
CI Kamsar (Guinea) vs Paradou (Algeria) (0-3)
Malindi (Zanzibar) vs Mogadishu City (Somalia) (0-0)
Ashantigold (Ghana) vs Akonangui (Equatorial Guinea) (1-1)
Young Buffaloes (Eswatini) vs Buildcon (Zambia) (1-0)
Masters Security (Malawi) vs Proline (Uganda) (0-3)
Azam (Tanzania) vs Fasil Kenema (Ethiopia) (0-1)
Rukinzo (Burundi) vs Triangle (Zimbabwe) (0-5)
Cotontchad (Chad) vs CR Belouizdad (Algeria) (0-2)
Sunday, August 25
*Ittihad (Libya) vs US Gendarmerie (Niger) (1-1)
LISCR (Liberia) vs Maranatha (Togo) (0-3)
Maniema (DR Congo) vs Pelican (Gabon) (1-1)
Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) vs Bolton City (Mauritius) (1-3)
Saint Louis (Seychelles) vs TS Galaxy (South Africa) (0-1)
Stade Renard (Cameroun) vs Motema Pembe (DR Congo) (0-2)
**Amarat (South Sudan) vs US Ben Guerdane (Tunisia) (1-5)
Etoile du Congo (Congo) vs Pyramids (Egypt) (1-4)
*Match will be played in Tunis
**Match will be played in Kampala