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Asante Kotoko

CAF CC: Al Hilal Hold Kotoko 1-1 In Kumasi

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Sudanese giants Al Hilal gave their desire to qualify to the next stage of the competition a great boost after holding Asante Kotoko to a 1-1 draw game played at the Baba Yara stadium, Kumasi.

The visitors were on top of their game right from the blast of the whistle and managed to create some decent chances in the opening minutes. Before the 10th minute they had three corner-kicks, an indication that saw Kotoko playing most of the game in the own half and hitting them of the counter attack.

Injuries to some key players of the Kotoko team saw coach Charles Akonnor reshuffle his team once again, though they were boosted with the return of captain Amos Frimpong who returned from a suspension having missed the Nkana game.

Kotoko did their best in the half of the visitors with some attacks of their own with the likes of Emmanuel Gyamfi, Yacouba Songne and Fatawu Abdul making good incursions in the Hilal vital area, but to no avail.

The visitors stunned the home crowd with the opening goal in the 33rd minute when Waleed Hamid headed home from close range.

Akonnor made his first change of the game, replacing Martin Antwi with Obed Owusu with two minutes to end the first half.

The second half saw hosts Kotoko come out firing from all angles in a bid to get the much needed equalizer but the agility of the Hilal defense kept them at bay. They breathed a huge sigh of relief when Yacouba Songne scored the equalizer in the 86th minute to give the home fans some ray of hope.

However that was not to be as Hilal managed to hold on for a point and the happier side despite slipping to the second in Group C with 8 points and Kotoko at third with seven points. Nkana top the pack with nine points after their 3-0 win over rivals Zesco United earlier in Kitwe.

Reactions
Nabil Kouki (Head Coach, Al Hilal)
It was a good game and we came here with the intention to win and take all three points. We scored a good goal in the first half and could have scored more if the players had kept their composure in front of goal. Things changed in the second half and Kotoko were on to us for the equalizer. We managed to hold them but unfortunately they managed to get the equalizer with about six minutes to end the game. We gave our best and I feel we have not disgraced ourselves coming here. A point away in a competition like this is very vital and we are happy with it. We go back to Sudan and work on our mistakes ahead of our next game.

Charles Akonnor (Head Coach, Asante Kotoko)
I am disappointed, but I am happy that we did not also lose the game because we gave it our all, especially in the second half. Before the game we the technical team knew the scores from the Nkana-ZESCO game but didn’t tell the players. However after the first half we had to tell them to make them aware of the fact that we can’t afford to lose the game.
It worked for us and we played a much better game in the second half and managed to get the equalizer with a few minutes to end the game. Our next game is away to Zesco in Zambia, a game we must win at all costs.

About Samuel A. Boakye-Buckman

Samuel A. Boakye-Buckman (popularly known as Dada Oliseh) is a self-motivated young journalist with a passion for telling stories better with pictures. He is the founder, owner, editor and bankroller of www.ghanasoccernews.com. He has a vast experience in the reporting of football-related activities in Ghana and beyond. A former employee of Hearts News (official mouthpiece of Accra Hearts of Oak), 90 minutes sports paper, National Sports Authority, Footballcrusader.com, sportscrusader.com, and ghanafootballnews.com, Samuel is one of the few energetic and self-motivated young journalist in Ghana with a large following on social media, especially Facebook (https://web.facebook.com/boakye.buckman.9). He is well known for his frequent updates from all over the country with pictures to match. He is also a correspondent for a few international websites, including CAF. In recent times, he has introduced, as part of his many talents, the live streaming of matches and football related activities. He lives in Accra Ghana.

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