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Sports News of Saturday, 14 September 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

CAF Champs League: Asante Kotoko captain sure of win over Etoile du Sahel

Asante Kotoko captain, Felix Annan insists that Kotoko are in a better shape for a convincing result against Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia when both sides meet again in a Round of 16 first leg clash on Sunday in Kumasi.

The last time both met at the same venue was 4 October 2008 at the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, which ended 2-2. Etoile will go on to finish top of the group which included Al Merreikh (Sudan) and JS Kabylie (Algeria), whilst Kotoko ended their campaign at the bottom of the standings.

“Since then the club has been looking for a chance to avenge that result and that is what we will be aiming for on Sunday. Both clubs have rich histories in African football,” said Kotoko goalie and captain Felix Annan.

Annan, who was a teenager at the time of the last meeting, is convinced the current step have the ability to rewrite the books against Les Diables Rouges.

“From the records, we've played against Etoile four times with our best being two draws.”

“This is a new Asante Kotoko with a new technical team, new players and definitely new mentality towards games of this magnitude so we are aware of what lies before us. The players are ready to make history on Sunday and you can see it in their activities during training".

"Everybody is doing his best to make sure that we win and win convincingly too."

Annan, who was part of the Ghana Black Stars team that lost on penalties to Tunisia in the AFCON 2019 held in Egypt a couple of months ago, added that though on the bench, he took some valuable lessons from that game, one he believes will help him and his colleagues plot a good win over Etoile du Sahel on Sunday.

“A good result in a match like this is always important. We have some experience as to how they play and some of us were at the AFCON and saw the performance of Tunisia as a whole, so we know what they bring to the table. For us as a team, we are ready and hopefully we should have a good on Sunday", he noted.

Meanwhile, Kotoko will count on the experience of midfielder Jordan Opoku, the only surviving member of the Kotoko squad that played against Etoile 11-years ago at the same venue.

“Teams from North Africa are very stubborn and can upset any team on any day. I remember my first year at Kotoko we met Etoile du Sahel and they drew 2-2 with us in Kumasi and they beat us in the reverse. Things are different now and I know that with the preparations we have done so far, we should be able to carry the day on Sunday,” said Opoku, who turns 37 next month.