Kotoko grabbed an important 2-1 victory over ZESCO United in match-day 2 of the Group stages in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Goals from Kwame Bonsu and Emmanuel Gyamfi handed the Porcupine Warriors a vital win at the Babayara Sports Stadium.
Ghanasportsonline.com reporter Frank Darkwahanalyzedhow each player fared for the Reds.
Was undoubtedly the busier of the two goalkeepers as he came to the aid of his team on a couple of occasions. Annan first denied the visitors from getting the equalizer after saving Jesse Jackson Were’s penalty. The deputy skipper of the side again denied Were a goal in the 38th minute when he came on with a timely save after the visitors had breakthrough the Kotoko defense. He kept Kotoko in the lead with a crucial save in the 83rd minute when he parried Osmanu Rahim header over the bar.
The right-back did what was needed of him as he maintained his composure throughout the game. The defender was given a little headache by Maybin Mwaba but stood to his ground to deny his opponents on any dangerous attack.
The captain of the side was played at a familiar position as he did justice at his left-back role preventing the wing plays by ZESCO United. Frimpong’s throw to Yacouba saw the latter setting up Kotoko’s second on the day. The defender however escaped a booking from the referee when he went in for a dangerous challenge on ZESCO United midfielder John Ching’andu.
Had a busy day in his center-back role as he together with his partner Abdul Ganiyu were troubled by the ZESCO attackers on countless occasion. Badu committed himself in the 26nd minute when he brought down Lazarous Kambole in the box which resulted in a penalty but for a save from goalkeeper Felix Annan.
Ganiyu manned the back and made some important clearances and interceptions. The former WA All Stars and Karela United defender showed great strength with his physic and always checked the ZESCO United attackers. He was left asking questions after allowing Rahim Ousmanu to beat him to a ball which resulted in a goal for ZESCO United.
Was the main man for the Porcupine Warriors in midfield as he served as the link between the defenders and attackers. The midfielder would be substituted by Habib Mohammed after sustaining an injury midway in the second half.
He was Kotoko’s first goal scorer and bossed the midfield. He could have crowned his performance with Kotoko’s third and his second on the day after finding his header come off the post in the dying embers of the game.
Got his side’s second goal after receiving a pass from Yacouba. He was a thorn in the flesh for his opponents on the flanks. The forward nearly won his side a penalty in the 53rd minute after he looked to have been brought down by goalkeeper Jacob Banda. Gyamfi again had his left-footed strike tipped over by goalkeeper Banda.
Looked a little silent in the first half but came to life in the second half with some sleek display on the right flanks.
He could go down as Kotoko’s man-of-the-match with his tireless work rate throughout his time on the pitch. The former Inter Allies man was seen all over the pitch tracking back to do some defending and joining the attack when necessary. His partnership with Yacouba was perfect.
He assisted Kotoko’s two goals in the first half despite missing a glaring opportunity just after his side’s first goal. The striker tormented the ZESCO United defense and was denied by goalkeeper Jacob Banda early in the second half when he saved the striker’s right-footed drive from 16 yards. Yacouba then again was denied by the ZESCO United defense in the 50th minute when they blocked his effort which was heading straight at goal. The striker again fluffed a big opportunity when he blew his shot over the bar on a one-one-one situation. The danger man will only be left cursing his stars after numerous chances missed and finally got substituted by Stephen Nyarko.
The midfielder came on to replace Songne Yacouba and made a little impression as he nearly assisted Kwame Bonsu for Kotoko’s third but the later will be denied by the woodwork.
He came on to replace injured Richard Senanu and did what was needed in midfield.
By Frank Darkwah