Ghana Premier League champions, Aduana Stars on Wednesday beat E. S. Setif 1-0 in their CAF Champions League, second round preliminary round match at home to set up a potentially crunch second leg game in Algeria. Journalist, Abdul Wadudu Osman watched the first leg. He shares five observations he made during the game.
ONE: Zakaria Mumuni is a star in the making. His name may not have been on the score sheet but his performance demonstrated what a player Aduana Stars have at their disposal. His quick feet, ability to beat his makers with ease and pass accurately were pleasing to the eyes. He was always a threat. He was the shining spot in the Aduana team. His Man of the Match performance talk dominated post-match discussions. Local media reports have started linking him to Setif as he was seen with some Algerian officials after the game.
TWO: Aduana Stars lack fitness. It was seen in the second half as they struggled to catch up with the rhythm and physical nature of the game. Derrick Sasraku, Nathaniel Asamoah, Caleb Amankwa and Abdul Rashid were far from their best. They struggled to make any impact. Yahaya Mohammed who replaced Sasraku was psychological not ready for the game. This was seen in his body language.
THREE: It’s probably early days but Aduana Stars missed Godfred Saka and Daniel Darkwah. A lot was said when the duo left the club. Coach Yussif Abubakar is still struggling to find replacement for them. Abdul Rashid and Caleb Amankwa have not been convincing yet. The fine crosses of Godfred Saka and the exceptional runs of Daniel Darkwah was one of the missing pieces in the Aduana Stars’ performance.
FOUR: Set pieces. I counted four to five free kicks Aduana Stars earned in the first half in front of the penalty box that were awfully wasted by Zakaria Mumuni, Noah Martey, Bright Adjei whose second attempt was however perfectly taken though he missed the target. They failed to utilise similar opportunities in the second half. Coach Yussif Abubakar need to work on that and could rely on Gockel Ahortor in that regard.
FIVE: Aduana stars are all but out. This is football and it’s full of surprises but I don’t see Aduana Stars surviving in Algeria. E. S. Setif came with a specific game plan and it worked perfectly for them. Coach Yussif Abubakar conceded this after the game. Aduana Stars had their goalkeeper to thank for two superb saves to deny the visitors from getting what would have been a valuable away goal. It’s thus a daunting task for the Ghana Premier League champions. They will have to defy odds to qualify.