The Confederations cup group C is looking very exciting after all four teams, Asante Kotoko, Al Hilal Omdurman, Zesco United and Nkana FC recorded wins in their respective home matches, losing one each away from home in the first two matches of the group, and now Asante Kotoko head coach Charles Kwablan (CK) Akonnor has thrown huge caution to his side to secure at least a point away from home or burst out.
Akonnor tells FOX FM the nature of the group is such that dwelling solely on winning home matches is not enough to guarantee qualification from the group.
After two matches each, Zambian giants Zesco United are top of group C with 3 points plus of a goal, followed by Al Hilal of Sudan with Ghana’s Asante Kotoko third ahead of their next opponents Nkana FC who are fourth in the group on same point level with a goal deficit. Asante Kotoko lost their opening group match away to Al Hilal in Sudan by a loan goal before cruising to a 2-1 home victory over Zesco United, and Akonnor maintains that his side must beat Nkana or record a draw in Kitwe next Sunday to boost their qualification chances.
‘The way the four teams are if you dwell only on your home matches it is not going to be enough (to secure qualification) so it’s important to get good results away (from home)’, Akonnor told Focal Sports Host Rockson Adjei Yeboah at the Kotoka International Airport on the team’s departure to Zambia on Wednesday.
In that sense I understand them (those saying winning at Kitwe is a must for Kotoko), how we will manage to do that it’s always up to us, the end result I won’t be able to tell you, what I can assure you is that we will work hard’, he added.
Asante Kotoko are airborne to Zambia to face Nkana FC on Sunday and majority of the fans believe the Red Devils are the weakest among the four teams in the group and beating them at their own backyard is not beyond the Porcupine Warriors. Kotoko coach Akonnor however maintains that the Red Devils are a ‘strong side’ but admits that Kotoko must get a good result there if they really want to qualify to the quarter finals of the competition.
‘Zesco won against Nkana (at home) and Nkana have also lost their last two matches (at home), for us (Kotoko) we look at them based on their strength and weaknesses, what they can do and we should not forget that it’s a very strong side, they are playing at home. There is a need for us to be smart throughout the 90 minutes plus any extra time, if we are able to do that perfectly the chances of us getting a good result there is there and we’re going to work on that to be able to get a good result but it’s a fact; if we want to get to the next level it’s important that we get a good result there’, he maintained.
The 2004 Confederations Cup finalists Asante Kotoko left Ghana on Wednesday noon through Ethiopia, and will arrive in Ndola on Thursday ahead of the crucial match against Nkana FC on Sunday in Kitwe.