Ghana’s sole representative in continental competition, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, will seek double victory over Coton Sport of Cameroun tomorrow at the Baba Yara Stadium in the second leg of their CAF Confederation Cup playoff tie.
A confident Porcupine Warriors side play host to the Camerounians with high expectations of winning on home soil to qualify for the group phase of the competition, having recorded an important 3-2 away victory at the Stade Omnisport Roumde Adjia in Garoua last Sunday.
Expectation is high among the Kotoko faithful as the club have not gone past two rounds in the competition for the first time in the last decade, and last Sunday’s victory has put them even closer to the group phase of Africa’s second tier club competition.
Despite the euphoria building up in Kumasi ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Coach Charles Akonnor says his charges must stay focused and ensure victory tomorrow before they can celebrate as the Camerounians will not go down without a fight.
The teeming fans will be expecting nothing short of a massive win, so any form of complacency on the part of the players and their technical handlers will spell doom for them in their own backyard and thwart their hopes of winning a continental trophy this year.
Indeed, the task before Coton Sport appears daunting as they are also hoping to make amends for their elimination from the CAF Champions League, with their head coach, Bertin Ebwelle Ndingue, reportedly vowing that his team will score more goals to prevent Kotoko from claiming the ticket to the next stage of the competition.
Meanwhile, reports from the camp of the Porcupine Warriors indicate that management has taken steps to motivate the players by increasing their bonuses ahead of the crucial match to push Coach Akonnor and his charges to avoid defeat at all cost to realise their dream.
The Kotoko coach is not expected to make major changes to the team that stunned Coton Sport in their own backyard with players such as Emmanuel Gyamfi, Maxwell Baakoh and Fatawu Safiu,Yacouba Songne, Agyemang Badu, Augustine Sefah, Fatawu Salifu, Kwame Bonsu, Abdul Ganiu and Amos Frimpong in line for selection to deliver the dreams of the club’s faithful.
Kotoko reached this stage by beating Kariobangi Sharks of Kenya 2-1 in Kumasi after managing a goalless draw in the first leg match in Nairobi last month.