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8 TALKING POINTS AS ASANTE KOTOKO DEFEAT COTONSPORT IN THE CAF CONFED. CUP

From the vibe around the stadium, Kotoko had already qualified haven beaten Cotonsport by 3 goals to 2 in Yaoundé and this fixture was one to confirm superiority over the traveling side.  
To others, all that mattered was the qualification to the group stages which had eluded the club since July, 2008. A win today and the lost love of the fans will be back ahead of the next stage of the CAF Confederations Cup. 
The blast of the final whistle brought the funfair to an end but opened the door to the storm ahead. A calmly taken penalty by Amos Frimpong on the stroke of halftime and a magical second by Baako after the break ensured that  Oumar Sali's late strike will only half the deficit for Cotonsport Garoua. 5-3 it ended on aggregate as the Kumasi lads made history.
Cotonsport hadn’t won a game away in the CAF inter-club competitions this season and today was going to be no different as they shot themselves in the foot with their own tactics. Too many bad tackles and they paid for it with an infringement on Yacouba in the 18 yard box which led to the opener. 

Here are 8 things that caught our attention;

Foul Play wins Fans Fairly?
It was all protest as Maxwell Baako controlled a lofted pass from Abass and quickly unleashed a ‘cross cum shot’ which beat Bassa Gerre at his first pole for Kotoko’s second goal. Before the goal, the referee halted the game with a Kotoko player down on the turf as Cotonsport had possession. Kotoko failed to give the ball back to the Cameroonians as they continued play when their player had been attended to. Once the ball touched the back of the net, Captain Khamilou Dauda and his mates protested but to no avail as Baako tore away to show some dance moves. The fans loved every second of it. 


The White Bird  
After both sides had their warm up session prior to the start of the game, a white bird attracted loud applause from the crowd. Why? The bird who had been on the field for hours landed on the pole at the Red stand before perching on the home bench. This sent the fans’ into a frenzy with most predicting a win for the home side even before the players stepped out of the tunnel. Surprisingly, the bird flew to the green side when Kotoko started the game from that end. Kotoko won the first half courtsey a goal scored in the post at the Red stand.  

Agro-ball 
Mr. Akonnor on the day he was assigned to lead the Porcupine bench promised the teaming fans of goal driven entertainment games and he delivered his promise in this tie. In the reverse fixture, 16 passes led to Kotoko’s second goal and today with Baako and Gyamfi outwide, the fans couldn’t stop cheering. Kotoko had spells where the Cotonsport players looked so ordinary. CK must be a happy man. He is walking the talk after a rather tough day against Kariobangi Sharks. 

Seidu does the honorable as CK flies high
How does it feel to eat a humble pie? This evening, Seidu, a supporter known for his recent attacks on coaches of the club was seen carrying the gaffer shoulder high after the game. For a man who called for the gaffers’ resignation prior to this tie, he definitely wouldn’t like the taste of this pie having to eat it all one.
Frimpong tells fans to watch out for Baako 
No Jordan, No Nii Adjei, No qualms
Until quite recently the duo were seen as key to the clubs’ continental glory chase. Out of the matchday squads for the duels in Yaoundé and Kumasi, Kwame Bonsu took the opportunity as he confirmed his place with some assured play in the two legged affair. Well, Jordan and Nii Adjei were part of the  Kotoko team that made it to the group stages in 2008. 11 years on, same bromance but a dip in form. Bonsu and Senanu can be the duo to keep the Royal Reds midfield ticking. 

Maxwell Baako, the real Messi-ah
Many a time, a host of skillful footballers have been compared to the 5 times world beater, Messi and Baako drew such comparison in his early High School days at Sekondi. With every touch today, the debate went on until that indescribable goal. Finally, fans accepted that he is the Messiah. “Barcelona has the fake Messiah” yelled one in ecstasy. Captain Amos Frimpong recently took to his Facebook wall to express his wonder regarding the quality in the left leg of Baako. The former Asante Kotoko youth player looks grilled and drilled for the thrill.

The Bird sits on the goalpost 
Money League
Here they go! As speculated, the Kumasi based club will receive an amount of $275,000(¢1,347,445) for qualifying to the next stage. The group stages often referred to as the “money zone” will be a breather for club financier and Executive Chairman, Prof. Dr. Kwame Kyei. The oil magnate has invested a fortune to see the club fare well and this will help to take some burden off him. Considering his desire to invest in physical infrastructure,  this is a relief. 

Consistency is key in football 
Often admonished for ringing changes to his personnel too often, Asante Kotoko gaffer, Akonnor made a single change to the side that won away in Yaoundé and it paid off. Abass Mohammed slotted into the left back role as Amos Frimpong returned to his favorite right back position with Sefa out due to suspension. The only change of the day and one could clearly sense the telepathic understanding building up. The club itself hasn’t been consistent with the current Executive Chairman having appointed 4 managers in his short stint. Players alike have been dilly dallied with. One man who has been consistent through the ages is Issa Amadu. The current equipment officer has been around for close to 20 years serving the club in different roles. A paragon to build on. Consistency tends to breed loyalty. 

Asante Kotoko will know which clubs they will be facing when the draw is held on 21st,  January, 2019 at 10am (GMT) 

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