CAF Confed Cup: Kotoko confident of qualification tomorrow
Asante Kotoko are sure of defeating their CAF Confederation Cup opponent, San Pedro, when they meet for the second leg of the final preliminary round of the competition in Abidjan on Sunday.
Kotoko failed to record a resounding victory over the Ivorians last Sunday and only managed a narrow 1-0 win at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Monday.
They now face a huge task of eliminating San Pedro to qualify for the group stage of the Confederation Cup in their opponent’s backyard.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the deputy coach of the Porcupine Warriors, Johnson Smith, sounded optimistic about the club’s chances of qualification, despite admitting that the task was huge.
"We know we will face a difficult match in Cote d’Iviore but we are prepared for them. We are confident of bringing victory home after Sunday to qualify for the group stage," he said.
According to Coach Smith, their West African opponents were mentally and physically strong in the first leg, so Kotoko had also adopted a strategy to deal with their opponents in the second leg.
"We are not going to be defensive or offensive; we will try and win all our balls and catch them on the break because they will attack us since they need a goal.
We will also use strong and robust players to exhibit strength in the game," he revealed.
Due to the controversy that led to the postponement of the second half of the first leg from last Sunday to the following day, the coach said the Kotoko players had been psyched on their mental fortitude in case they faced any challenge in Abidjan.
"We are aware that the people (San Pedro) were not happy with their stay in Kumasi, but the issues are not from us. We have psyched our players well to be able to deal with any issue and to stay calm and focused till the match is over," Coach Smith stated.
This game presents Kotoko with a final opportunity to continue playing in Africa’s inter-club competition this year after they were eliminated from the CAF Champions League by Etoile du Sahel 2-3 on aggregate.