Kotoko, San Pedro match rained off

The first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and San Pedro from La Cote d’Ivoire was rained off, after a goalless first half, yesterday at the Baba Yara Stadium.

FIFA rules specify that, the match must be replayed within 24 hours.
However, according to the rules, the game would be continued from where it ended.

As a result, the second half of the game will be played today at the same venue.

After the first half of the game which was played in intermittent rains, officials of the match and the president elect of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Okraku, inspected the soggy pitch before calling it off.

With water gathering at portions of the pitch, it made ball control very difficult during the first 45 minutes after which the rains set in heavily.

But, drama unfolded, while the referee and his team conducted the pitch inspection as the Ivorians invaded the pitch, awaiting the host, who later appeared.

After about 15 minutes of deliberations to ascertain whether the game could continue, some of the players from the visiting team carried trays to scoop the water from where it had been gathered for the game to continue.

This, did not go down well with the host, who confronted them resulting in a scuffle, that saw fans at the Amakom Stand attempt to storm the pitch, but were restrained by the security personnel.

Kotoko found themselves playing in the CAF Confederation Cup tournament after being booted out of the Champions League competition by Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel on a 3-2 aggregate.

Kotoko won the first leg encounter 2-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium and lost 0-3 in the return clash in Tunisia.

In fact, Kotoko met a tough side that was well organised in all departments of the game thus frustrating Kotoko’s game plan.

The visitors’ defence, centered around Constant Kouame Koffi and Agboke Pacome, was so solid that, the host’s talisman, Songne Yacouba, from whom much was expected upfront, could not find his rhythm.

Both teams started the game on a fast note but it was the host that first threatened at goal when a well-struck shot from Emmanuel Gyamfi was beautifully saved by keeper Tra Tape, in the 10th minute.

A goal mouth melee that could have seen Kotoko’s Richard Arthur register the first goal was saved again by the keeper, in the 19th minute.

Felix Annan denied the visitors the opener when he saved from Kramo Kouame and Sounaro Cheick in the 22nd and 24th minutes respectively.
Two minutes to the end of the first half, Kotoko nearly paid for a defensive blunder that saw Sylla Banfa, beat keeper Felix Annan, in an aerial tussle, but Ampem Dacosta, was swift enough to clear the ball to corner.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI

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