Sports News of Thursday, 24 December 2020
Ghana Premier League giants Asante Kotoko suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sudanese top-flight side Al-Hilal in a second-round first leg of CAF Champions League encounter played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
A second-half strike from substitute Vinny Bongonga gave the away side the advantage going into the second leg encounter in Omdurman.
Both sides struggled to create any clear chances in opening minutes of the first half in an encounter which looked very cagey.
The pace of the game was very slow as Kotoko seem content with keeping the ball making no incursions upfront.
The clearest opportunity for Kotoko fell for Kwame Opoku who had a sight at goal but wasted much time as the Sudanese defence clear their lines.
The very flat first ended in a stalemate.
Kotoko started the second on the front foot as they searched for the lead and nearly did so in the 50th minute but goalkeeper for the Sudanese side did very well to deny Kotoko striker Kwame Poku.
Wahab Mohammed’s sloppiness nearly gifted the away side the lead but good defensive work from Ibrahim Moro and a good save from Razak Abalora from the eventual corner-kick kept Kotoko in the game.
Substitute Vinny Bongonga broke the deadlock for the away side in the 77th minute when he calmly tapped from close range after a delightful cross from Mohammed Quatarra.
Al-Hilal looked the most likely of scoring again but the defence of Kotoko did very well to curtail further attacks.
The Sudanese side held on to their slim advantage as the game ended in a win for them and would clearly fancy their chances of making it into the group stages.
Kotoko who have failed to make to the group stages in the CAF Champions League since 2006 would have a stern task knocking out the Sudanese side following the outcome of the first leg.
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