Chelsea To Give Coton Sport A HidingBy Daniel Kenu - Daily Graphic
4/26/2012 8:34:25 AM -
Ghana’s Berekum Chelsea are on the verge of making history of becoming the third Ghanaian premier club to play in the money zone of the CAF Champions League after Obuasi Goldfields and Accra Hearts of Oak if they scale over the two-leg hurdle against Camerounian side, Coton Sport Garoua.
The first leg final round qualifier at the Golden City Park on Sunday will be the first ever clash between the two at any level.
But the Camerounians are not new to Ghanaians having tumbled on two occasions against Hearts of Oak at different stages of the competition.
Their strength has always been at home and on many occasions they have atoned for their poor away records. Indeed, that was the story in their penultimate round against Nigerian side Dolphin, when despite winning 1-0 at home, lost the return leg 1-2 away, to qualify on the away goal rule.
Armed with this information, Chelsea coach, Hans van der Plyum, will be expected to go all out just as he did against Moroccan side, Raja Casablanca, to secure the needed ticket.
Chelsea qualified to this stage after annihilating Raja 5-0 at home and although they lost 0-3 in Casablanca, the Ghanaians sailed on a 5-3 aggregate.
But the Chelsea coach may be handicapped as he is being compelled to face the Camerounins without four key players.
Influential captain, Abdul Basit, is out after receiving two yellow cards in the last two matches, while Yahaya Wahab, Awudu Nafiu and Prince Arko are suffering from various degrees of injury.
However, CEO of the club, Nana Kwame, has allayed the fears of fans saying “we have good replacements for them and there is no need to panic.”
He told the Graphic Sports that morale in camp was high and the players were ready to deliver. Goalkeeper Ernest Sowah, Emmanuel Clottey, Yaw Alexander, Alfred Arthur and Edward Kpodo are some of the key players Coach van der Plyum will be relying on to record a massive first leg victory.
Meanwhile, Coton Sport are expected to arrive tomorrow and will be flown to Berekum on Friday for the big match on Sunday with fans reported to be in high sprit to throng the stadium.