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THE CONTROVERSY: THE ABOAKESE AND THE PORCUPINES TO ILLUMINATE ASANTEMAN IN THE CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND CONFEDERATION CUP?

Asanteman is ready to witness a cagey encounter in the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, as Kumasi Asante Kotoko SC lock horns with Kano Pillars of Nigeria and Ashantigold SC battles out with Akonangui FC of Equitorial Guinea.
The Miners who were once a runner up in the CAF Champions League in 1997 is set to once again spike the spirit of football lovers in Obuasi as they are destined to eliminate Akonangui FC to qualify for the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup. The Executive Board Chairman of Ashgold has purged the gate fee of the Confederation Cup which will be played on Saturday, 24th August to be free for ladies as a means to fill the Len Clay Stadium? After sharing the spoils in a horrid 1:1 encounter at the Ebebiyin Stadium in Equitorial Guinea, Ashgold is set to macerate the Guineans on the green turf through their scintillating play as punishment for their odious welcome melted on them in the  first league.
Coach Ricardo Da Rocha has seen a lot of improvement in his team as he has resorted to experienced players like Richard Osei Agyemang and Eric Donkor in defense. The formidable defensive midfielder, James Akaminko, the discovery of former coach C.K Akonnor, is back in to the set up with Latif Anabila to form a compact midfield pair. Appiah McCarthy, who has recovered from a knee injury will be a huge wildcard for Ashgold with his dazzling passes in the midfield. Amos Addai, back from a short stint in Europe will provide a good wing attacking option alongside the Brazilian attacker, Marco Aurelio Silva Damasceno. The budding Emmanuel Owusu, Amos Nkrumah and Emmanuel Osei "Manoma" Baffour will give Coach Da Rocha alternatives at the flanks. Mark Agyekum and Shafiu Mumuni are bent on leading the onslaught for the Miners on Saturday, as their presence and eye for goals remain the key arsenal of Ashantigold.


Asante Kotoko SC will have to win convincingly at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi as they were ravaged at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Nigeria. Asante Kotoko came from a goal down to lead by 2:1, but failed to hold on to their lead as Kano Pillars came from behind to carry the day with a 3:2 victory over the Porcupine Warriors. An almost new side of Asante Kotoko, are yet to impress the fans of Kumasi on Sunday, 25th August, for the first time since their pleasing performance in the CAF Confederation Cup last season.
Asante Kotoko are yet to settle on a stable central defensive pair as the partnership between Habib Mohammed and Stephen Ayiku Tetteh was not delightful in the first league. The onus lies on Coach Zachariassen to give an opportunity to Wahab Adams, hitherto, formed a solid partnership in central defense with the injured Ismail Ganiyu. The arguably best defensive midfielder in Ghana, Justice Blay, is keen to retain his spot, however, Samuel Frimpong, who was first introduced into the Kotoko set-up by former Coach of Kotoko, Paa Kwasi Fabin, seems to be the ideal box-to-box midfielder to partner Justice Blay. First introduced as a right back by Paa Kwasi Fabin, Samuel clearly possessed the qualities of a midfielder, which Coach Zachariassen has unraveled now. Alexis Didi Arnold and Mamadou Kouyate provide options in the midfield too. Kotoko's new nimble-footed wingers, Matthew Kelvin Andoh and Godfred Asiamah are likely to start for the Porcupine Warriors, as Emmanuel Gyamfi's performance keeps dwindling. Richard Arthur with his agility and movement will likely lead the attack for Kotoko.
But then, Kotoko's new 'Humpty Dumpty' striker, George Abege, who is yet to find his feet for the Royal Reds as many minions rue their support for him in the poor displays he's exhibited so far. The lanky striker, announced his presence in last season's  CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round clash between Kotoko and Kariobangi Sharks  as he led the attack of the Kenyans against Kotoko, after giving Abdul Ganiyu a tough game. With such poor display so far, Naby Laye Keita is in a pole position to grab the starting line up spot.
Kotoko's poster boy, Songne "Supersonic" Yacouba is back in the team after a long absence due to injury as his long spell in Burkina Faso and issues on joining a new club has being settled. Although questions have being raised on his fitness level, but the talisman is keen to exhibit what he does best at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. Almost all the fans of Asante Kotoko broached about his long absence and the quality he adds to the attacking force of Kotoko. Scoring 2 goals and 5 assists in the Confederation Cup last season, Yacouba provides a lot of attacking options for Coach Zachariassen as only a win can keep Kotoko in the competition.
In the absence of a competitive Football League in Ghana for more than a year, can the Miners and the Porcupine Warriors once again illuminate Asanteman and Ghana with good football and a convincing win? The job seems to be bit easier for Ashantigold as a goalless draw can take them to the next stage of the competition, on like Asante Kotoko who has to win convincingly to take them to the next stage of the competition. Can Kano Pillars FC and Akonangui FC pull a surprise to plunge Asanteman to become a virtual cemetery ? Or will the "Aboakese" exercise its greatness as the KUM  APEM spirit of Opoku Fredefrede  rise to salvage Asanteman?

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