Asante Kotoko, Ghana’s sole representative in this year’s Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League, will on Sunday, September 15, be battling for a win as they host Tunisian giants Etoile Sportive du Sahel in the first leg of the competition at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
The game would be the fifth meeting between the two teams, and the first since 2008.
Having entered this year’s competition with so many new faces in the team, Kotoko were able to continue their impressive home unbeaten run of last year’s Confederation Cup, after defeating Kano Pillars from Nigeria on 4-3 aggregate to secure their qualification to this stage, which would boost the player’s confidence going into this game.
However, the home team would need to improve upon their defence especially the right back, if they are to secure a favorable scoreline in the first leg against one of the effective teams in this year’s Champions League.
Kotoko would have to manage the absence of Ivorian Striker Naby Keita, who has been suspended after receiving a red card in the last home game.
Coach Kjetil Zachariasen, the head coach of Asante Kotoko is however hopeful that his star striker Sogne Yacouba would return to the starting line-up after missing the opening two games through match fitness.
Since 2018, the two-times Africa champions have won five out of their last six home matches in Africa competitions, with 11goals scored and three conceded.
Kotoko are winless in their four meetings against Etoile du Sahel with two losses and two draws as well.
This makes their mission of winning on Sunday, a difficult one but surmountable taking into consideration the quality of players and determination of the team to make it into the group stages of the competition.