It is another time for a Ghanaian club to hoist the flag of Ghana high in the CAF Champions League.
Several clubs have had the chance to wear the shoes of Ghana in the competition, with some, leaving indelible marks to reminisce on and others, leaving nothing to linger on the minds of Ghanaians.
In apropos to the above, Asante Kotoko, over the past few years in the CAF Champions League, have left nothing whatsoever of nostalgic to linger on as the Africa Club of the Century.
The Porcupines have shown nothing to deserve that accolade as they last went past the first stage of the competition close to a decade now regardless of the opposition they come across. The last time the Porcupines reached the group stage was in 2006.
In the newly formatted CAF Competitions, Asante Kotoko will have the berth to start it for Ghana in the 2018/19 CAF Confederations Cup against Kariobangi Sharks in the 1/16th stage, an advanced stage to where they reached in the last competition.
However, Asante Kotoko in the 2020/2021 edition will have their first fair of share in the CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against Mauritanian champions, FC Nouadhibou in a dicey encounter on Sunday, November 29.
FC Nouadhibou have proven not to be pushovers from their games watched and performances in the Mauritanian league and will sternly provide the kind of competition Asante Kotoko need in this encounter.
Asante Kotoko will have the Africa experience to their advantage as FC Nouadhibou are a novice on the continental game and should spark a walking path over the Northwest African side even before coming to Accra for the second leg a week later.
What is expected of Asante Kotoko this afternoon at the Stade Cheikha Bodiya in Nouakchott when they come up against FC Nouadhibou is to get convincing results that will rekindle hopes of making it to the next round and possibly to the group stage.
“Kotoko is a great club with good history; that is the little we know [about them]. But we can beat them, we have a good squad and we are very determined. Everything is possible in football,” FC Nouadhibou coach Amir Abdou told the Mauritanian media ahead of the game.
He added, “I am very happy to join FC Nouadhibou. The project really appealed to me. Thank you to the club and to Mauritania for their welcome. I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”
Maxwell Konadu, Coach of Asante Kotoko also said: “Technically we say the best way to attack is to possess. We won’t play a defensive game, but if the score-line goes in our favor in the early exchanges, that will also tell you how to operate,” Konadu said in an interview at the team’s hotel.
“Usually, I want to play a game that I won’t concede. But most of the time, you can defend well throughout and concede a last-minute goal. I love playing attacking football, whether I am home or away. But if you visit an opponent’s home grounds, you need to be tactful about the way you attack.
“I am not here to play a defensive game. Mark my words. We didn’t come here to defend. We will play and play and play until we get what we want out of this match,” he concluded.
Where to watch
To watch the game, kindly use this link http://tvm.mr/ar/live/
Current form of both teams
Kotoko are unbeaten in their last five games in 2020 (W2 D3). They recorded their victories over Karela United FC and Bechem United in the truncated season.
This season, they have recorded two draws. The first was a 1-1 stalemate in their opening Ghana Premier League match against Eleven Wonders and the most recent one was a 1-1 draw with Berekum Chelsea.
The Orange club are also unbeaten in their last five league matches in 2020 (W4 D1). They beat Medine Trarza and ASC Police.
Nouadhibou were also able to dispatch JAHE twice in under two weeks. Their first meeting ended in a 3-1 home win and they clinched a 2-1 victory in the return fixture.
In their latest fixture, they recorded a 1-1 draw with ASC Tidjikja.
The Kumasi-based side will be without captain and goalkeeper Felix Annan who has been ruled out of action five weeks.
However, they will be happy with the return of shot-stopper Razak Abalora who was tested positive for COVID-19 on international duty with the Black Stars.
Ahead of the game, FC Nouadhibou have appointed Comoros tactician Amir Abdou as their new coach after the dismissing Cameroonian Mauril N’joya.
Nouadhibou have conceded just 3 goals in their last 5 competitive home matches (0.6 goals per game) and scored 10 (2 goals per game).
The Orange club are unbeaten in their last 10 league games, winning 9 and drawing one. This means they have not lost a game in the last 10 months.
Kotoko have conceded two goals in their last five competitive away games (0.4 goals per game) and scored three (0.4 goals per game).
Kotoko have lost one game in their last 10 competitive matches (3W 6D 1L).
On the African terrain, Asante Kotoko have played 17 games since 2006, winning 2 with 4 draws and 11 defeats. The Reds have scored 7 goals and conceded 23 times with their heaviest defeat coming against Al Ahly in 2006 in Cairo (4-0).
Asante Kotoko probable line-up:
Kwame Baah, Christopher Nettey, Ibrahim Imoro, Abdul Ganiu, Mubarik Yussif, Emmanuel Keyekeh, Adom Frimpong, Emmanuel Gyamfi (C), Godfred Asiamah, Osman Ibrahim, Kwame Opoku.
Date: 29th November 2020
Time: 4:00pm Local time
Venue: Stade Cheikha Bodiya , Nouakchott