Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko recorded slim victory over San Pedro from Ivory Coast, thanks to Guinea forward Naby Kieta’s last minute penalty that gave Kotoko 1-0 advantage over San Pedro from the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off at Kumasi.
The first half of the game was played yesterday but only a matter of natural occurrence- heavy rain fall- denied both clubs from completing the full 90 minutes. After the end of first half, the game never came started for the second half, and referee Eugene Nkosinathi Mdluli from South Africa called the game off.
In relation to FIFA/CAF rules and regulation, the game has to continue from where it left yesterday, and with the same players. That is when the first 45 minutes of the game has been completed. This means, Kjetil Zachariasen remained with his most criticized selection of Emmanuel Agyemang Badu at right full back and Empem Dacosta in central defense.
Collins Ameyaw and Songne Yacouba who had replaced veteran Jordan Opoku in central midfield and Ugandan George Abege in center forward respectively continued from where they left yesterday.
The Ghanaian side started the second half very strongly piling pressure on San Pedro but one thing was absolutely missing from their play in the opening of the second half. They were not able to organize their passes from the back through the midfield to attack.
Most of their attacks were through the air but San Pedro defense looked brilliantly perfect to deal with all form of balls that could produce a roller coast for the Ivorian side.
After 15 minutes, chances began to loom for the Ghanaian side but San Pedro keeper Tra Tape stood in between his side and Kotoko, making on earth some wonderful saves to deny Kotoko from getting the opener.
Zachariassen replaced Collins Ameyaw with Naby Kieta to strengthen the attacking force of Kotoko but the defense of the away side and keeper in particular were too solid for Kotoko to break so easily.
However, Kotoko broke the game’s deadlock in additional time when it was only a minute left on the clock. Naby Kieta stepped up to convert 90+5 penalty after Songne Yacouba had been brought down in his opponents’ penalty box.
Kotoko would have to get the best of results in the second leg at the Felix Houphouet Boigny this weekend before they can enter the group stages of the 2019-2020 CAF Confederation Cup.