Kumasi Asante Kotoko this week open their CAF Champions League campaign in Mauritania when they face off with Mauritanian giants, Nouadhibou. The match was originally scheduled to take place tomorrow but has been rescheduled to take place on Sunday at 4 pm.
Ahead of the game, we take a quick look at the travelling squad for Asante Kotoko, what both coaches are saying and the Ghanaian club’s recent history in the competition.
Kotoko arrived in Mauritania yesterday with a 21 man squad to help them secure a good result away from home. The squad, of course, did not include captain Felix Annan who is sidelined as a result of an injury he sustained in Matchweek 2 of the Ghana Premier League against Berekum Chelsea in which they drew.
There is also no place for new Brazilian boy Fabio Gama but the likes of Emmanuel Gyamfi and Kwame Poku, who has scored twice in his two outings for the club this season, are part of the squad and will be hoping to put on a good show for the Porcupine Warriors.
The travelling squad can be found below:
What the coaches are saying
Kotoko coach Maxwell Konadu after seeing his side draw 1-1 against Berekum Chelsea has warned the team not to underrate the Mauritanian side but put in their maximum best.
He said: “African football has come of age, there are no minnows hence it will be totally wrong for anyone to boldly declare any game as a walkover”.
Maxwell Konadu’s opposite number and Nouadhibou coach, Njoya, has also indicated that he has a lot of respect for the Ghanaian giants and believes his side is under no pressure going into the game.
He indicated: “I’m not saying I’m scared [and that] I can’t beat Asante Kotoko but I respect them because they are one of the best teams in Africa and they perform very well every season.
“There is absolutely no pressure on us because we are a 20-year-old club with a lot of experience.”
Kotoko’s awful recent history
Kumasi Asante Kotoko has failed to reach the group stages of the CAF Champions League since 2006 and has been either eliminated in the round of 16 or the preliminary round each time they have participated in the competition for the past 14 years.
This awful run includes their elimination in last season’s competition when they were eliminated in the first round by Etoile du Sahel.
In order to change that narrative, however, Maxwell Konadu and his boys will have to put in a very good performance and get a decent result before next week’s return encounter.