26.09.2004 Confederation Cup

Kotoko Beat Petro Of Luanda in CAF Cup match

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Kumasi, Sept 26, GNA - Kumasi Asante Kotoko fought from a goal down on Saturday to beat Petro Athletico of Angola 2-1 in their CAF Cup match at the Kumasi Sports stadium. Athletico fired the first shot in the 48th minute through danger-man Flavio Amado who beat goalkeeper George Owu with a header as the keeper came out of his post to make a save. The Angolans floated the ball in the Kotoko area and as the defence stood rooted, Flavio dashed forward to meet the ball. Sensing danger, Owu rushed out to meet the ball but missed as Flavio headed past him into the net. Playing a calculated game, Athletico who parked their defence and left Avolino Lopes and Flavio Amado up front occasionally gave the Kotoko defence a lot to worry about. Their strategy paid off handsomely particularly in the first half as the Athletico defence ably supported by goalkeeper Tudi Landu thwarted most of the attacks of Kotoko. Athletico earned two corner kicks in the sixth and ninth minutes respectively but wasted them. Skipper Joe Hendricks, however, gave the visitors a golden opportunity in the 15th minute when in desperation his clearance went to Flavio in the goal area but the strikers shot was too feeble to beat keeper Owu. Kotoko responded with a swift counter attack and Charles Taylor raced with the ball to the left and centred beautifully but the ball was blocked by the Athletico defence. Determined to open the score, Kotoko kept the heat on Athletico and in the 20th minute, Daniel Yeboah set the stadium ablaze as he fired a pile driver, which forced keeper Landu to jump full length to tip the ball over the bar for a corner kick. A minute later, Yusif Chipsah also raced with the ball on the right flank and sent the ball into the goal area of the visitors but there was no Kotoko attacker around to finish off the effort. Kotoko who were at this stage in control of the game, made several incursions into the Athletico territory but in the 24th minute, Michael Asante's shot was also tip over the bar by the keeper. Charles Taylor who was a constant torn in the flesh of the Angolan defence, was brought down in the 28th minute outside the penalty box but Taylor's shot grazed the cross bar from the resultant kick. Taylor again in the 31st minute worked the ball from the right and crossed into the box but there was no Kotoko again to finish it off. Athletico then switched the attack in their favour and came in dangerously in the 42nd minute sending the Kotoko defence reeling backwards but Flavio who was on target headed the ball over the bar. Nana Arhin Duah made a last minute effort to break the deadlock just before half time with a bicycle kick in the 44th minute but his effort missed the post narrowly. Three minutes into the second half, Athletico snatched the leader through Flavio who beat goalkeeper Owu with a header. Kotoko pulled out Michael Asante for Shilla Alhassan in the 56th minute and then earned a free kick two minutes later outside the visitors' penalty box when Charles Taylor was brought down. Stephen Oduro expertly equalised from the resultant kick. Shilla Alhassan justified his inclusion when he scored Kotoko's second goal from an intelligent shot in the 63rd minute. He stopped a pass and with his back to a defender, he turned quickly to shoot the ball to the blank side of goalkeeper Landu. Kotoko made a last minute effort to increase their score but Arhin Duah in the 89th minute kicked Michael Osei's pass to side netting to end the days exciting encounter. Meanwhile in the other Group A match, Enugu Rangers of Nigeria won 4-0, crushing Sudanese side Al Hilal.
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