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6 THINGS WE OBSERVED AS AL HILAL PICKED KOTOKO'S POCKET

In a must win game at the Babayara Stadium, players of Asante Kotoko suffocated under the intense pressure from the home supporters as Al Hilal got a second away point from home. A determined and organized Sudanese side played their hearts out and deservedly got a one all scoreline.


Kotoko, playing without guts in the first period of the game stood in hibernation as Waleed got a goal for the away side. A better second half from the home side saw Yacouba getting a late equaliser for Kotoko to set up a crucial last round game against Zesco United. 

What we observed;

A Return to the Old
In building a championship winning side, ex gaffer, Paa Kwesi Fabin didn't discount the need for a resolute back 4. In Amos, Wahab, Badu and Darkwah, he had a desirable unit. Unfortunately, an injury to Darkwah and the gaffer's resignation midstream meant there was little chance to see this unit. Fabin's replacement, Akonnor, had the chance to relive the past. In the absence of Ganiu and with Amos returning, Akonnor stuck to the past unit which never got to play. Wait, did we see Daniel Nii Adjei too?


Trading of Fate 
Winning games before the half hour mark looked to be the new subculture at the Babayara Stadium in this year's African campaign. Many a fan had grown some faith in this fate. To others, Kotoko always looked jaded in second period of games which needed a look at. For once it wasn't to be as Kotoko lost by a goal in the first half which prompted a better second half performance. 4 more attempts on target in the 2nd period and an equaliser wasn't to be missed. The usual urgency and intensity in the first half of games was rather exhibited to an extent in the second period of the game this time. 


Waleed 2/2
A goal and 2 assists in the previous round of games saw him being adjudged as the CAFCC player of the week. In the absence of marks man, Mbombo, Waleed Hamid took the game by the scruff. In similar fashion to the first tie in Omdurman, he found the back of the net. It's now 2 in 2 against Kotoko and his 2nd away goal in the tourney. Hope we get to count some more. 

"Yacoubak"
The clamour for Kotoko to partake in the Confederation Cup, hinged on the presence of one man, Yacouba Songne. The Burkinabe had endeared himself to the Kumasi fans with his endless desire whenever he wore the Red shirt. 4 goals in 5 league appearances sold out his ability. 2 goals in the group stages, one a consolation and the other an equaliser, he appears to have answered their calls. Can Kotoko cope in Ndola without him?


Gods Do Rest 
It was "Akwasidae" and one would say Kotoko struggles to win on these Sacred Day. Another tough day but clearly one could see that the Gods of Ashanti had been summoned to the festival. Not a working day for the Gods, suffice to say. No birds before the game, no first half goals, no goals at the Amakom end and clearly the Royal Reds were in for a difficult game with the Gods on holiday.


Another Must Win Match
Having bottled up at home, Kotoko's only chance of qualifying out of the group stages is now solely dependent on a win away in Ndola, Zambia. Another feast or a final goodbye? A tale in Zambia to tell. 

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