Kotoko boss Kjetil Zachariassen made four changes to his eleven that whipped San Pedro 1-0 at Kumasi last week Sunday, replacing Stephen Ayiku Tetteh, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Augustine Okrah and Songne Yacouba with Wahab Adams, Alex Didi Arnold, Samuel Frimpong and Kelvin Andoh respectively.
Wahab Adams got his first start of the season partnering Empem Dacosta in central defense, which means Agyemang Badu once again started from the right back whiles Patrick Yeboah occupied the left side of the back four.
In midfield, Justice Blay, Collins Ameyaw, Alex Didi Arnold, Samuel Frimpong and Kelvin Andoh were the preferred five-man midfield, leaving Richard Arthur as the lone striker up front at Felix Houphouet Boigny.
San Pedro kept majority of the players who started at Kumasi last week with Ira Tape who has earned a called up to the national U-23 team of Ivory Coast keeping the posts for the Ivorian side. Skipper Ngoran Kouassi, Constant Kouame Koffi, Agboke Pacome, Sylla Banfa, Soumaro Cheick and Mbondi Christ were all in Jani Tarek’s eleven against Kotoko.
San Pedro got the better off Asante Kotoko just a minute into the game as Cheick Soumaro broke the deadlock to send Tarek’s men 1-0 up. San Pedro were awarded a foul at the back of the Ghanaians’ penalty box, Tarek’s side quickly and unexpectedly took the kick to Soumaro who afterwards shot straight into the net.
The home side continued to control the game, definitely asking too many question around Kotoko penalty area, looking for the second goal. But the Ghanaians stood firm to deal with all forms of pressure incurred by San Pedro in the first half.
Augustine Okrah replaced Alex Didi before the kick of the second half. Kotoko began going forward to get the equalizer, organizing their passes from the back to the midfield but the final pass was the main problem to open up the defense of San Pedro.
As the desire to get the equalizer grew stronger, Kelvin Andoh in particular was the man running the shows for the Ghanaian champions midway in the game. At a point in time during which Kotoko had fully grown into the game, Andoh agilely skipped past two of his markers before sliding a pass to Richard Arthur but the former Wa All Stars forward who was in good position to get Kotoko back into the game couldn’t hold onto the ball, another Kotoko chance wasted.
Two minutes to full time, San Pedro put the game beyond Kotoko as sub Tidjae Diomande stroke to make it 2-0, and that strike gave San Pedro 2-1 lead on aggregate after they had been beaten a goal to nil at Baba Yara Sports Stadium last week Monday.
Center back Agyemang Badu was shown the exit door on the 90’ minute for a second yellow card. Last season at this stage, Kotoko crashed out Cameroon side CotonSport 5-3 on aggregate after winning both home and away ties.
In the last 15 years, any of Kotoko’s qualification into next stage of any CAF inter club competition has come at home. They last qualified away from home in a CAF clubs competition in 2004 against WAC.