Review: Performance of Ghanaian clubs in Confederations Cup
Accra, Nov. 1, GNA - The performance of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak in the penultimate matches of the Confederation Cup competition over the weekend has thrown the much touted dream final of two Ghanaian clubs into a home stretch.
Hearts who won their game against Club Santos of South Africa by a lone goal needs nothing but a win in their next game to pick the zone 'B' ticket for the finals of the competition.
On the part of Kotoko, the Porcupine Warriors need the combinations of a win, luck and mathematics to be able to book their final ticket. Hearts are scheduled to play group leaders, Cotonsport of Cameroon on November 13 with Kotoko taking on Al-Hilal of Sudan at the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadium respectively.
A critical look at the chances of the two teams undertaken by the GNA Sports indicates that the Phobians will need any margin of a win for their final ticket since they have accrued 10 points in their five matches behind Cotonsport who are ahead with 11 points.
Though the first round match between the two sides saw them sharing the points in a drawn game, Cotonsport have maintained a clean record of not conceding a single goal up to this stage of the competition, with Hearts picking three balls from their net and this gives the Cameroonians a slim edge over the Ghanaians.
With the fight now attaining the status of a two horse race affair, it is expected that the Phobians will be able to encore the same performance they displayed against Sable d' Batie when they come up against Cotonsport at the Accra Sports stadium, who certainly may be coming in with a purely defensive strategy of play, as a draw will be more than enough for them to reach the promised land.
On the other hand, Kotoko needs a massive win over the Sudanese for the final ticket while counting on the misfortunes of leaders, Enugu Rangers of Nigeria to also lose in Angola against Petro Athletico. One can be assured of a win at the "Fast Track Stadium" in Kumasi come November 14, but will that be enough to grant Kotoko the ticket to the finals. In spite of the home advantage, Kotoko must be on the alert and caution as the Sudanese on their way to the league stage, managed to defeat Liberty Professionals through a similar fashion.
The Angolans in their last two matches have only managed to pick a point. With the strength of the Nigerians, the possibilities of fetching at least a point in the war-ravaged country is very high and this gives a cause to worry for the Ghanaians.
On the basis of luck, the Fabulous Lads can then count on the Angolans defeating the Nigerians to keep them at nine points with Kotoko winning against Hilal to increase their points tally to ten for the dream ticket.
Realistically, only one of the Ghanaian clubs has a clearer chance of being in the final, though the game of football is mostly unpredictable and it is for all to unite and fight for the ultimate to bring back the smiles unto the Ghanaian soccer scene.