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Sports News of Thursday, 14 March 2019

Source: Goal.com

Mohammed Polo not ruling out Confederation Cup quarter-final berth for Kotoko

Ghana’s 1978 Africa Cup of Nations winner Mohammed Polo says Asante Kotoko must rise above the challenges of playing away fixtures in order to beat Zesco United in the Caf Confederation Cup encounter on Sunday.

The Porcupine Warriors are set to play as guests to the Zambians on the final matchday of the continental inter-club championship, a week after a disappointing home draw with Al-Hilal Omdurman of Sudan.

With Kotoko only guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals with a win, many have expressed their fears about the club’s chances, more so with the situation of playing on the road and without their Burkinabe linchpin Songne Yacouba.

“They [Kotoko] missed something very important at home here by losing two points against Al-Hilal. That was a match they should have won, but unfortunately, they couldn’t,” Polo, also a former coach of local giants Hearts of Oak, told Goal.

“That is football. So they have to make it in Zambia. It’s going to be a difficult one.

“They have a realistic chance. In football, nothing is impossible.

“They have already played them [Zesco] and seen them, so I think with a very good system by the coach, a win is possible.

“For the boys, nobody should tell them that they have to go in and defend well, attack well and finish their chances.

“Mostly, teams are very strong at home, but this time, they have to be strong away.

Kotoko currently sit third in Group C, two and one point behind leaders Nkana FC and Al-Hilal respectively.

“It’s very unfortunate that Yacouba is suspended for the game because, despite the fact that he’s not scoring a lot, he works a lot,” Polo added.

“But a team cannot depend on only one or two players. It’s teamwork, so the coach should work on them such that anybody at all can stand in for him.

“In the game against Nkana where Kotoko, some of their key players did not play but they were able to get three goals which was unprecedented in their campaign.

“Normally, they don’t score that number of goals but in that match, they were able to score that many. That should happen on Sunday too.”

Kotoko last made the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup in 2004.