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19.04.2005 Football News

Injuries Plague King Faisal

By Graphic

GHANA'S King Faisal are two steps away from the money zone of the CAF Confederation Cup, but the crossover appears to be a major hurdle as the team is plagued with injuries ahead of their battle against Bendel Insurance of Nigeria at the Kumasi Stadium.

Six days to this crucial second round return leg, King Faisal are still grappling with various degrees of injury picked by eight of their players in the first leg which ended goalless in Bendel City over a week ago.

Speaking to the Graphic in an interview yesterday after a morning workout, the visibly disturbed head coach of the side, Francis Oti Akenten, due to the injury situation, he had been compelled to rest the affected players from training with the team till tomorrow.

He gave the names of some of the injured players as Eric Gawu, Kwasi Bobie Ansah, Shilla Illiasu, Ben Wilson and Richard Adjei. He said in spite of that, he had no alternative than to use these players in last Sunday's GT Premier League match against Bofoakwa.

Though they won 2-0 at home, the gamble had a negative effect on Shilla who needed three stitches to close a deep cut he sustained over his left eye during the match.

To worsen matters, influential Gawu who appeared to be recovering from his injury has had a bout of malaria.

According to Coach Oti Akenteng, overlapping left full back, Habib Mohammed and left winger Kwabena Poku who looked fit and set for the Bofoakwa match had to be withdrawn at the eleventh hour for lack of fitness.

While expecting the team doctor to work around the clock to get all these regular stars to feature against the Nigerians on Sunday, the experienced coach regrets the fact that the team's top marksman, Sumaila Yahaya will miss the upcoming match through suspension after picking his second yellow card in the first leg.

In the case of intelligent midfielder, Abubakar Yahuza, he is still ruled out since there is no sign that he can recover from his groin problem before Sunday.

In view of that, the management of King Faisal has requested for the postponement of their second week GT Premiership match against Hearts of Lions at Kpando tomorrow.

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