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10.05.2008 Football News

Kotoko To Show Class

By Andrew Nortey - newtimesonline.com

Call it the battle for survival and one is not far from right.

Such is the description tomorrow’s fate-defining clash between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Dolphins of Nigeria in the second leg Confederation Cup has earned from soccer pundits.

Until this stage of the competition that Kotoko will start a match under such a tight circumstance, having conceded two goals in the first leg, the Ghanaians have usually approached second leg ties with a relaxed disposition.

The story is totally different now. The Porcupine Warriors would have to vomit three unanswered goals to guarantee them a place in the next stage of the competition.

From all indications, this remains an uneasy task considering the pedigree of the determined Nigerian side that also appears to have discovered a magic wand against Ghanaian sides.

Couple of years ago, they showed Hearts of Oak the exit in the Champions League competition and seem to have been inspired by that feat and are looking forward to replicate it against Kotoko.

And against a wounded Kotoko side that will come with all guns blazing, Dolphins would relax in midfield and in their defensive shells hoping to capitalise on openings in the Kotoko rear to cause further damage.

This is the more reason why the Ghanaian representation must be very cautious in order not to expose themselves against the fast-running Dolphins.

Comparatively, Kotoko appear to be ahead of their opponents in terms of player quality and experience in the continental club competition and this is what must propel them to stun the Nigerians.

However, all of the above mentioned factors would amount to nothing if their attackers fail to live up to expectation.

In a clash of this magnitude where a club’s survival depends solely on the number of goals it scores, a team would have no other option than scoring from the chances they create.

This is the more reason why Eric Bekoe, Francis Cofie, Kwabena Yaro and Ofosu Amoah must make good use of the services provided them by Eric Nii Adjei, Francis Akwarfo and Jordan Opoku in midfield while Dan Acquah, Samuel Inkoom and Harrison Afful do the dirty work at the back.

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