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26.04.2004 Confederation Cup

Kotoko qualify for next stage of CAF Champions League

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Kumasi, April 25, GNA - Players of Asec Mimosa of Abidjan rushed on referee Pare Lasina of Burkina Faso immediately after their goalless drawn game in their CAF Champions league match against Kumasi Asante kotoko at the Kumasi Sportsd Stadium.

Their action was as a result of the referee disallowing a goal they scored in the 77th minute by Kone Seidu which they thought was perfect one but the security personnel were, however, quick to go to his rescue to escort him and his assistants to the dressing room.

In what appeared to be a show of laxity by the Kotoko team after assistant Referee Two, T. Amadou had raised his flag signifying an infringement, Asec cut through the defence and before goalkeeper Mohammed Alhassan could react, Kone had sent the ball through his legs.

The Asec players started jubilating but the Kotoko players rushed on the referee and directed him to consult his assistant Amadou after which he disallowed the goal.

By the ruling therefore, the match ended nil-nil thus allowing Kotoko to qualify on the away goal they scored in their first leg match played in Abidjan two weeks ago.

Despite their qualification for the next stage of the Champions league, Kotoko will be the first to admit that they had been in a match. In a very fast and an uncompromising game, it was the Ivorians who proved faster on the ball, winning all the 50-50 balls while the Kotoko players were always sluggish waiting for balls.

Kotoko kicked off first, giving initial hopes of carrying the day but they quickly lost the ball to Asec who countered and nearly caused havoc in the sixth minute but the ball flew across the Kotoko goalmouth. Then in the 10th minute, William Tierro also sent the ball across the goalmouth of Asec but there was no one around to finish off. The quick and slippery Asec lads again put Kotoko under severe and sustained pressure in the 13th minute when Kouadio ErouDonatiem split the Kotoko defence from the left but missed target.

Two minutes later, Asec again breezed past the Kotoko defence who on a number of occasions found it difficult to hold them at bay but again finished poorly.

Let off the hook, Kotoko took their turn and in the 24th minute, Aziz Ansah operating from the right flank, tore through the Asec defence only to shoot for goalkeeper Stepha Dimy to make a timely save.

In the 22nd minute, William Tierro attracted the first yellow card for attempting to score with his hand and was followed a minute later by Issah Ahmed for hard tackling.

The ball swung from one end of the field to the other with attacks and counter attacks by both teams but in the 29th minute, Michael Osei who was put through by Charles Taylor sent his shot flying over the bar.

On resumption of the second half, both teams made changes with Kotoko sending on Michael Asante for Michael Osei while Asec also pulled out George Dacosta for Dauda Traore but it was Kotoko who nearly snatched the lead but Tierro failed to connect Stephen Oduro's cross. A minute later, Tierro was again laid a neat Charles Taylor's pass but he was impeded by the Asec defence.

Sensing danger, Asec sent in Kone Seidu for Kovogui Alhassane in the 59th minute and immediately sent shivers down the spines of the large army of Kotoko supporters who filled the stadium to bursting point as the Asec attackers again tore the Kotoko defence into smithereens but they managed to weather the storm.

Asec again caused panic three minutes later but the Kotoko defence again managed to weather the storm. Asec quickly made another change replacing Nabia Tia Beauregard with Vincent Fameye.

Kotoko also brought in Shilla Alhassan for Yusif Chibsa in the 75th minute but just two minutes after this change, Asec nearly caused havoc when they scored the goal that was disallowed.

From then on the supporters of Kotoko were getting very uneasy and started agitating for some bite in the attack and the technical bench had to pull out Tierro for Frank Osei in the 80th minute.

Three minutes later, Charles Taylor who was working like a loom cut deep into Asec's goal area from the right and centred for Frank Osei who needed to put his head to the ball but instead booted it sky high thus blowing away the brightest chance of giving Kotoko a win. 25 April 04