Kotoko pip FAR in CAF Champions League
Kumasi, March 6, GNA - Kumasi Asante Kotoko managed to beat FAR Rabat of Morocco 1-0 in their first leg CAF Champions league match at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Yusif Chipsah scored the only goal in the 77th minute with a powerful header from a corner kick.
Kotoko, who from the start of the game failed to find their rhythm due to aggressive and robust play of the visitors had to evolve various strategies to contain them.
The Moroccan's Nadum Yassine was shown the yellow card in the fifth minute for rough play and Ouadouch Jawad nearly had the opener in the 21st minute but his header missed the post narrowly.
FAR who decided to play defensively, frustrated Kotoko's head striker, Nana Arhin Duah, who was a thorn in their flesh and he was shown the yellow card for dissent in the 27th minute.
Seven minutes later, goalkeeper El Jarmouni Tarik of FAR was also flagged the yellow card for delay tactics to end the first half goalless.
On resumption of the second half, Kotoko replaced Osei Kwame with Elvis Opoku and nearly took the lead in the 47th minute but Michael Osei's shot went off target.
They continued to pile pressure on FAR and some of the chances that came their way were all wasted.
Kotoko again brought on Michael Asante for Kweku Essien in the 58th minute to strengthen the midfield while Yusif Chipsah was shown the yellow card for rough play in the 59th minute.
FAR also substituted El Bouzidi Addessoumad for Raddioui Iddrissi Youssef in the 67th minute.
Kotoko exhausted their substitution when Edmund Owusu-Ansah took over from George Yamoah in the 73rd minute and this paid off for them as from then they gained absolute control of the game to register the much-needed goal in the 77th minute through Chipsah to bring back the smiles unto the teeming supporters.
Kotoko from then on turned the heat on FAR and this compelled the visitors to bring in Boubou Noureddine for Naoum Yassine in the 83rd minute. Kotoko earned a free kick just outside the box during injury time but the effort was wasted.
El Moutaz Hassan was shown the yellow card by Nigerian referee, S.L. Aliu Ibrahim for dissent before the kick was to be effected. The player was later showed the red card for an indiscipline behaviour towards the referee to end the day's proceedings.