CAF CC: Asante Kotoko edge Zesco United in Kumasi
AKFC 2-1 ZUFC (Kwame Bonsu 10′, Emmanuel Gyamfyi 25′ | Rahim Osumanu 73′)
Zambian champions Zesco United were beaten 2 – 1 by Asante Kotoko of Ghana in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage match played in Kumasi.
Zesco will have themselves to blame for some lacklustre defending that saw them concede two goals in the first half from easy situations in a game Jackson Were missed a penalty.
The hosts started brightly but Zesco looked equal to the task. Kotoko then started exploiting the right side of the Zesco defense with both Quadri Aladeokun and Clement Mwape being easily beaten on a couple of occasions.
The opener came in the 10th minute when the Ghanaians attacked through the left again. The cut back to edge of the box was met by Kwame Bonsu whose shot deflected of the defender to beat Jacob Banda in goal.
In the 19th minute, Zesco were awarded a penalty. Were stepped up but he saw his effort saved by Annan in the Kotoko goal.
The Zesco defense was caught napping again when they failed to react quickly to a throw-in into the box which Yacouba squared for an on-rushing Emmanuel Gyamfyi who tapped home from close range in the 25th minute.
With the Zesco defense looking vulnerable at every attack, coach George Lwandamina pulled out Clement Mwape in the 35th minute for Enock Sabamukama. The tactical change saw Akumu drop into central defense.
After the restart, Kotoko were more assertive and could have added another in the first 10 minutes but Banda saved well. Zesco were failing to bring their strikers into the game.
They got a lucky break when Ghanaian substitute Rahim Osumanu found space in between two markers to loop a header over the on rushing keeper from what seemed a tame situation in the 73rd minute.
He could leveled in the 84th minute but for the good reflexes shown by Annan who pulled off a save from close range.
Zesco suffered a further setback in the 90th minute when veteran midfielder Kondwani Mtonga was given a straight red card for stumping on his marker.
The hosts managed the game well and held on to the lead to leave all the teams in the group on three points. This is after Nkana beat Al Hilal of Sudan 2-1 in the early kick off in the group.
Zesco stay on top with a plus one goal difference while Nkana are bottom with a minus one goal difference.
ZESCO United 🇿🇲 Lineup v Asante Kotoko
Jacob Banda (GK) – Simon Silwimba, Clement Mwape (Enock Sabamukamu), David Odhiambo, Mwila Phiri, Anthony Akumu, Kondwani Mtonga, Jesse Jackson Were (Rahim Osumanu), John Ching’andu (Misheck Chaila), Lazarous Kambole, Quadri Aladeokun
Asante Kotoko SC 🇬🇭 lineup:
Felix Annan (GK), Amos Frimpong, Agyemang Badu, Abdul Ganiu Ismail, Augustine Sefah, Richard Senanu, Kwame Bonsu, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Maxwell Baakoh, Abdul Fatawu Safiu, Songné Yacouba
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