CAF CC: Kotoko plays goalless with Kariobangi Sharks in Kenya

By Michael Duah
CAF CC: Kotoko played goalless with Kariobangi Sharks in Kenya
CAF CC: Kotoko played goalless with Kariobangi Sharks in Kenya

Asante Kotoko SC held Kariobangi Sharks of Kenya to a scoreless draw at the Kasarani stadium on Saturday in the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Porcupine Warriors have all to do in the second leg after registering a barren draw against the Kenyan outfit Kariogangi Sharks in the First Round clash staged at the MISC Kasarani on Saturday, December 15.

Early exchanges
In the first-ever meeting between the two clubs, Kariobangi Sharks were off the blocks looking to secure that all-important lead in the two-legged tie.

William Muluya's charges found it hard to break down the resolute Kotoko defense and resorted to long balls with Duke Abuya turning Ganiyu inside out before releasing a shot to the bottom right corner that was easily picked up by Annan in the 12th minute.

Shiveka rescue
Gyamfi should have had done better with his cross ball to Naby Keita in the box after getting past Nixon Omondi in the right wing but his pass was easily read by Geoffrey Shiveka to avert the danger in the 18th minute.

Mazembe chance
Kariobangi Sharks came mightly close but denied by a last-ditch effort by Agyemang Badu who cleared the ball of the line when James Mazembe fired the ball after Abege flicked on Harrison Mwendwa's brilliant cross in the 39th minute.

Naby Keita chance
Kotoko had another chance to break the deadlock in the first half when Gyamfi whipped in a cross that was met by the head of Keita with his nodded effort just clearing the crossbar in the 42nd minute.

Second half
Chances were few and far between the two sides in the second half, with the first real opening coming in the 72nd minute when Emmanuel Gyamfi supplied in a corner that Shiveka failed to deal with as it fell to Yacouba whose first touch let him down when he was through on goal handing Bwire easy pickings in goal.

Emmanuel Gyamfi chance
Gyamfi was a constant thorn in Sharks' flesh and almost handed them a late lead in the 85th minute when his effort from just the edge of the penalty area shaved the net on it's way out.

Mwendwa chance
With minutes left to the final whistle, Mwendwa was presented with a golden chance when he chested Abege's pass inside the box but his final touch let him down as he slid before taking the shot. The game ended up in a barren draw with the second coming on Saturday 22nd December.

Asante Kotoko, A club who have left a mark-it's not far from right if denoted with an indelible mark on the African continent, makes it difficult to understand that for the past four years, Asante Kotoko SC have struggled to make it out of the first round of their African Club Competition against "minnows" in African football.

Returning to African again after getting the approval from the Normalization Committee to represent hoist the flag of Ghana in the Confederations Cup meant the time to wake up from their slumbers and start picking up what belongs to them in Africa and Asante Kotoko SC started it against Kenyan Super Cup champions, Kariobangi Sharks.

Read also: CAFCC -Kotoko name starting XI to face Kariobangi Sharks

For quite long, Kotoko have not had some wild preparation to any tournament or game than they've had for this afternoon's encounter which makes one decipher why Asante Kotoko SC attached everything to this game as if their life depended on it.

Asante Kotoko SC will host Kariobangi Sharks at the Babayara stadium next Saturday, December 22 for the make it or break it second leg of the tie.
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