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WINNERS AND LOSERS AS KOTOKO LOSE TO NKANA FC

Commenced under 26°, Nkana FC and Asante Kotoko renewed an old rivalry in the 151st game in the history of the CAF Confederations Cup. The Kalampa boys ensured that their enviable 43 year old record of not losing a game at home in the CAF inter club competitions was left unaltered.

In an ironic approach to the game, the away side went for flair with the home side going for brute, physique and direct play in the group C encounter.


Kotoko's defensive woes were exposed in a space of 3 minutes which won the game for Kalampa boys. Tshimenga scored from the penalty spot with Ronald smashing home 2 more as Yacouba scored a stunning free kick to reduce the deficit.

Kotoko lie bottom after 3 games with 3 points where as Nkana heads the group with 6. A draw between Zesco and Al Hilal in the other fixture left both sides tied on 4 points.

Here, we identify the winners and losers from the tie in Kitwe, Zambia;

The LandLord-  Winner
The 2012 and 2013 goal king of the Zambian league got a brace to condemn Asante Kotoko to their 2nd away defeat in the group. Ronald who sustained an injury in the game against Al Hilal recovered in time to face the Porcupines. With no goal in the group stages, Kampamba scored with a snapshot and a header to confirm his status as the Landlord after Yacouba had scored a worldie for the visiting side. 

The Pitch - Loser
58 games in CAF inter club competitions and Nkana just won't be beaten. The loud home crowd coupled with the desire of the players should be enough to win 42 of those games but for their football pitch. Friendly to the home side, Kotoko had their game plan stifled by their inability to move the ball quickly on the bumpy green field. No team managed by Pep Guardiola will win here and no wonder Kotoko lost after dominating the game with 62% of possession. Al Hilal also won the ball retention game here but lost too. Who else noticed the bad nature of the pitch?  

Richard Ocran - Loser
The Ghanaian defender playing for Nkana FC and his defensive partner, Musa Mohammed were tasked with preventing the away side from scoring.  Musa, a Kenyan received a yellow which means he misses the next game in Kumasi. Straightaway, one would have expected Ocran to keep a cool head to be available for the return game. Instead, Musa was the cautious with Ocran  getting a sending off. This leaves Nkana without their two trusted centre backs for the trip to Ghana.

Yacouba- Winner
The Burkinabe import was the brightest spot in Kotoko's away lose. Having garnered 2 assists in his previous game against Zesco, the intelligent attacker whipped home a magical freekick to draw parity as Kotoko went down. Quick response it was. With a 90% passing accuracy, his only shot on target gave Kotoko a consolation and the fans' a goal to savour for years. His 10 successful takeons drew yellow cards for the home defense.

Ishmael Ganiu - Loser
The defensive stalwart of Kotoko was left exposed and ran rugged by Walter Bwalya as his rush tackle led to the first penalty conceded. His missed header found an unmarked Ronald who gave Nkana their 3rd goal. He lost most of his tackles as Kotoko's defensive woes proved fatal. His  communication with his defensive pair, Badu was also questionable throughout the game.

Duncan Otieno - Winner 
Former AFC Leopards midfielder, Otieno was handed an unusual start in the central midfield and he took his chance. The player who joined the Zambians ahead of the 2019 season has been restricted to less game time with only 1 start in the league under his belt. In place of Chisala and Ngulube, he partnered Malambo and ensured that the Kitwe based side won the physical battle.
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