It was a glorious day at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium as Kumasi Asante Kotoko thumped Tunisian side, Etoile Sportive Du Sahel by two goals to nil courtesy a well-taken free-kick from Augustine Okrah and a fine second-half finish from Richard Arthur.
A game that was mainly dominated by the Ghanaian side, Etoile showed little or no attitude to pick up a win from Ghana as they looked less threatening on attack. A well-composed Kotoko side, however, took the opportunity of the lacklustre performance from the Tunisian side to put the two goals behind and head into the second leg in Tunis with a cushion.
Here are five things we learnt from the game.
- Great Results To Head Into the Second Leg: some may argue that North African sides have been a thorn in the flesh of Ghanaian sides in CAF Inter-club competitions looking at the records that stand. However, looking at the calmness and how well-composed this Kotoko side was today, it would not be a surprise to see them go into the second leg and pick up at least a point. Especially going away with a two-goal cushion and a clean sheet. Fans of the Porcupine Warriors have every reason to be optimistic ahead of the second leg.
- Kotoko Does Not Miss Abdul Fatawu That Much: one of the main figures last season for the Kumasi-based side was forward Abdul Fatawu Shafiu who is now plying his trade in Sweden for Trellesborg in the second division. The hardworking forward was a great compliment for talisman Songe Yacouba and carried the team on his shoulders when the Burkinabe was on scoring drought. However, looking at the what Augustine Okrah and Godfred Asiamah are doing on free kicks and the workaholism of the former, it will be very difficult for any fan to bite his or her finger in remembrance of Fatawu. Today’s free-kick converted by Augustine is the second so far in the competition after Godfred Asiamah coolie converted one in Nigeria against Kano Pillars. Surely, Fatawu is not missed that much.
- Great Defensive Display, Holiday for Felix Annan: More or less like a David De Gea for the Fabulous boys in most of their games, today looked like a very boring day for skipper Felix Annan as he had absolutely little to do. However, this was due to the great defensive work exhibited by Agyemang Badu and Habib Mohammed not forgetting the shield they got from Justice Blay from the defensive side of the midfield. The Porcupine Warriors won the ball back a lot of times on a busy afternoon for the midfield which rather turned out to be a positive for Felix Annan. His first clean sheet in a while.
- George Abege Is A Workaholic But Must Find His Scoring Boots As Soon As Possible: one of the average performances we saw this afternoon was from striker George Abege. The grand man from Uganda was a waste upfront but an absolute plus for the team with his work rate. It can clearly be seen how the former Kariobangi Sharks talisman is hungry to open his account for his new team. However, the level of performance put out today was nothing to write home about an attacker of his calibre. He probably won the ball back a couple of times and his work rate was excellent, but the main work is to score goals and that is what the fans want to see.
- Calmness and Composure Are Always: One big positive from the game today was how calm and composed the whole Kotoko team was in trying to build-up play. Even though they were in need of more goals to somewhat secure their qualification here, it would have been very detrimental for the team to be in a rush. This would have definitely led them to make mistakes which surely would’ve have been well fed on by the North Africans. The team and the technical bench should be applauded for this effort and hope to see same in Tunisia where the going is going to get tougher.
Article by: Kwesi Live