Senegalese referee Issa Sy pointed to the spot five times but just one goal was scored as Asante Kotoko snatched a late victory over Congo’s Cara Brazzaville in the first leg of their 2018 Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round tie in Kumasi on Sunday.
It was a bad day for Kotoko’s penalty takers as three different players, starting with striker Sadick Adams in the 6th minute, followed by captain Amos Frimpong and Baba Mahama all missed before second half substitute Yakubu Mohammed finally got it right with a powerful penalty strike in additional time to ensure the Porcupine Warriors win 1-0 at home.
Cara Brazzaville’s poor ball-winning efforts bred the penalty-fest and as they came, referee Sy did not hesitate to award them
The first spurned by Sadick Adams, six minutes into the first half, came through a handball. The striker chose to hit it low to the far right but the ball rolled inches wide away from the post.
A barren opening half it ended but the Porcupine Warriors had another penalty opportunity to go ahead right on the hour mark when Kwame Boahene was clipped from the back in attempt to shoot on goal. Kotoko’s skipper Frimpong elected himself to take the penalty but he uncharacteristically shot straight into Massa Chansel’s hands with a weak effort.
Ten minutes later, Boahene was brought down again for Kotoko’s third penalty and it was Baba Mahama who will come up to have his effort saved by the superb Cara goalkeeper Chansel.
The tide soon turned as centre-back Wahab Adams found himself at the wrong side and committed a foul on substitute Mbangou Espoie in his own penalty area. Referee Sy rightly handed Cara a share of the penalties and their chance to go ahead. However, Felix Annan dived to his left and parried away the effort of his opposing goalkeeper Massa Chansel.
With no goalkeeper in post for Cara, Obed Owusu failed to lead a counterattack for Kotoko and allowed Chansel and his defenders to recover and get behind the ball.
The encounter looked settled for a barren stalemate until the second of minutes additional time. Sadick Adams won Kotoko their fourth penalty which was finally taken and converted by Yakubu Mohammed.
Kotoko, the Ghana FA Cup holders, go into the February 21 second leg with a 1-0 advantage.
Felix Annan – Amos Frimpong, Eric Donkor/Yakubu Mohammed, Nafiu Awudu, Wahab Adams – Jackson Owusu, Jordan Opoku/Obed Owusu, Emmanuel Gyamfi/Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi, Kwame Boahene, Baba Mahama, Sadick Adams
Unused subs: Danlad Ibrahim, Edwin Tuffour, Augustine Sefa, Douglas Owusu Ansah
Cara Brazzaville XI:
Massa Chansel – Odongo Richy Bouegena, Okiele Minitte, Ikouma Epoyo, Danga Chancy, Ankila Ntsonakoulou, Bomanyae Dicha, Filanckembo Lopez, Oyoh Thouey Rox/Mbangou Espoie, Kivutuka Cabwey, Mbangou Joseph/Mbemba Duvoe Kemoe
Unused subs: Ngakosso Chili, Louamba Rocine, Diafouko Keloid