Head Coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, C.K Akunnor has dismissed claims that they played a match of convenience against their regional rivals, Ashantigold in the Normalisation Committee (NC) Tier 2 semi final match at the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
The ‘Oseikrom’ boys were humbled 3-1 by the ‘Miners’ ending their dream of annexing a double in the NC season.
The Porcupines will take consolation in the finals of the NC Special Tier 1 competition but must overcome Western-based Karela United tomorrow for the sole CAF champions’ league ticket.
On this premise, media reports and assertions suggested that Kotoko aided their Asanteman rivals to gain the other slot to represent Ghana in the CAF Confederations Cup by engaging them in a ‘soft’ match.
But addressing journalists after the loss to Ashgold, the Kotoko trainer said the allegations were misplaced because their opponents were the better side on the day.
“It was clear that they outplayed us, they possessed the ball better than my boys.
“On the day, they were clearly the better side tactically; there is nothing more to it. There are no other reasons for our loss”, he explained after the game.
He, however, stated that the focus will immediately shift to tomorrow’s game as that represents their only chance of silverware and a route to Africa.
“We will go back to train harder and to correct the mistakes we made against Ashgold.
Coach Akunnor acknowledged that Karela were a talented side that will pose a threat to his side but stated his readiness to devise the right strategies to neutralise them.
Kotoko qualified for the final against Karela FC after defeating Hearts of Oak 5-4 on penalties at the same venue three days earlier.
BY CHARLOTTE NETTEY