Kotoko 2 Kariobangi Sharks 1 : match report

Asante Kotoko defeated Kariobangi Sharks 2-1 to progress to the play off of the Confederation Cup with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline following a first leg goalless draw.

Two first half goals from Fatawu Abdul Safiu and Amos Frimpong were enough as Kotoko beat their Kenyan counterparts to progress to the next stage of the CAF Confederation Cup as Patilah Omotto pulled one back for the visitors with a superb effort.

C.K Akonnor made two changes to Kotoko starting team from the one that started in the first leg.

Strikers Abdul Safiu and Songne Yacouba were preferred this time to Martin Antwi and Naby Keita but Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya started with all his arsenals as they search for a historical victory against the Porcupine.

Kotoko started the game so well as they look to unsettle their opponents in the early stagecaptain didn’t take long before Sharks settled dominating possession with class.

Striker George Abege came close to giving the the visitors a shock lead but his header went wide.

Kotoko responded by using the pace of Maxwell Baakoh and Emmanuel Gyamfi on the flanks but it was debutant Fatawu Abdul Safiu who broke the deadlock of the game in 17th minutes as he single handedly outwitted his marker before sending a low shot in to the back of the net at the near post.

Kotoko grew up in confidence amid some wonderful touches in the middle of pitch.

Sharks took advantage of a lacklustre attitude from the Kotoko players and levelled the score. Felix Annan lacked of awareness allowed capatain Omoto – against a run of play – to deliver a 30 yard screamer to level for the Kenyans.

Kotoko reacted very well by dominating possession without making any incursion.

Their efforts however yielded positive results as dread-lock striker Yacouba in the 37th minute was brought down in the penatly box by Geoffrey Lemo and referee Mashood Sali did not hesitate tl point to the spot.

Amos Frimpong stepped up and converted  to restore Kotoko’s lead.

Kotoko held on to their lead till the end at the break and started the second half looking to add on to their one goal lead.

The focus of their attack was Maxwell Baakoh who kept on tormenting the right back of sharks.

The away team trailing by a goal kept it cool and relied on the counter attacks. They allowed kotoko to have more of the balls whiles they try to hit them on the run.

Akonnor effected his first substitution by introducing Umar Bashir for the ineffective Jordan Opoku.

Songne Yacouba in the 75th minute turned down his marker and sent in a low shot but Brian Bwire cooly saved it.

Baakoh was also taken off for Kwame Boahene to add more bite in the attack as Kotoko continue to their search for the guaranteed lead but the visitors defended very well as they sat back in numbers.

With some few minutes to the finals whistle, first goal scorer Fatawu Safiu was brought off for Naby Keita.

Felix Annan produced a monstrous save in the 87th minute to denied what could have been an equalizer for the visitors.

None of the sides were able to utilize the three minutes of additional time to score as the referee blew his whistles for the end of the game.

By Abdul Wadudu Osman

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