Sports News of Friday, 15 December 2017
After over a decade of continental club title drought, Ghana’s hopes could be revived when Aduana Stars and Kumasi Asante Kotoko begin the continental campaigns next year.
For the Dormaa-Ahenkro-based side, the experience gathered during their botched maiden CAF Champions League campaign in 2011 would be enough to push them further in the competition this time around when they take on Libyan side, Al Tahaddy next February.
Similarly, the Porcupine Warriors who have had a roller coaster campaign at the CAF Confederation Cup over the years would attempt to make amends when they play Congolese outfit, Club Athlétique Renaissance Aiglons (CARA) Brazzaville next February.
The games for Ghana’s representatives, according to the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), is scheduled to be played on the weekend of between February 9 and 11 with the return leg set for February 16 and 18, according to CAF inter-clubs draw which was held in Cairo last Wednesday.
This time around it would be an opportunity for Aduana Stars to improve upon their maiden appearance when they suffered an early elimination at the preliminary stages to Moroccan side WAC after losing 1-3 on aggregate.
Their Libyan opponents, El Tahaddy, on the other hand, are returning to the competition for the first time in about four decades, making Aduana Stars favourites to sail through if they can capitalise on their more current experience in the continental competition against the 40-year-long wait for the Libyans.
On the other hand Kotoko are not new to the continental club competitions, but a dip in form has depreciated the club’s stocks at the continental competition as their last participation barely three years ago ended in disaster as they were booted out in the first round.
However, with that experience in mind, Kotoko are determined to rewrite the script irrespective of the pedigree of the opponent they are scheduled to encounter in their game.
They are bent to quickly bury their unsuccessful spell in the Confederation Cup behind and show the country that they are ready to reclaim their place of glory in continental football again.
CARA Brazzaville might not be easy pushovers considering their rich background, having won the Congolese top flight on nine occasions. But like Kotoko, CARA Brazzaville also failed to make any significant impact in the competition during their last two appearances.
In 2014, for instance, their sojourn lasted only in the first round, likewise in 2015 where they were booted out in the preliminary stage, but this time they hope to proceed further by presenting Kotoko with a stiffer opposition.
This coaches of the Ghanaian clubs, Coach Yusif Abubakar of Aduana and Kotoko’s Steve Polack must work hard and also bolster their squad ahead of the packed season next term in order to have a squad depth to enable them to challenge on all front.