Aduana Stars’ new coach, Kenichi Yatsuhashi, got his coaching stint with Ghana champions on a winning note after a 2-1 victory against AS Vita Club of Congo in their CAF Confederation Cup Group A match at the Nana Agyeman Badu Park at Dormaa-Ahenkro yesterday.
Languishing at the bottom of the table with one point from two matches, yesterday’s match represented a must-win situation for the ‘Ogya Boys’ to breathe life back into their continental campaign.
And when it mattered most, they finally found the winning spirit under the guidance of their Japanese trainer who joined the club just a week ago.
Aduana made their intentions clear right from the blast of the whistle as they took the game to their opponents and were rewarded in the third minute through Bright Adjei who tapped in a beautiful cross by Yahaya Mohammed for the opening goal.
After receiving the ball from the midfield, Mohammed dribbled past a Vita Club defender before floating in the ball for Adjei to score the first goal of the match.
The early goal seemed to have unsettled the visiting team while the home side kept on pressing to increase the tally. And by the ninth minute, Aduana were in firm control of the game as Mohammed scored his side’s second goal by connecting a cross from the right flank with a powerful header.
Expectations of more goals by Aduana did not materialise as Vita Club lifted their game and responded to the challenge.
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In one of their incursions into Aduana’s half, the visitors earned a free-kick from a foul committed by defender Zakaria Mumuni.
The resultant kick by Ngonda Musinga was connected by Fabrice who tapped the ball past Aduana goalkeeper, Joseph Addo, in the 26th minute.
From then the game became a ding-dong affair with Aduana working hard to restore their two-goal cushion as the visitors probed for the equaliser in an exciting first half.
After recess Aduana allowed a revitalised Vita Club a lot of room to operate as they started firing shots from all sides and made numerous forays into the half of Aduana in search for another goal.
The home fans sat on thorns in the dying embers of the match as the Congolese strikers made the Aduana backline work hard to prevent their opponents from scoring a late equaliser which could have killed off their continental cup hopes.
When Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef brought proceedings to a close, there was relied on the faces of the Aduana players and officials while excited home fans sang in praise of their new coach for passing his first test and reviving their campaign with their first win in three games.