The group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup may be a whole new world for Aduana Stars as they make their bow in Group A on Sunday. However, Yussif Abubakar’s men need not to lose nerve after already testing the waters of the Caf Champions League, a superior competition.
The Ghanaian champions are widely seen as the weakest in a group which comprises of three-time African champions Raja Casablanca, Asec Mimosas and A.S Vita Club, both of whom have won the Caf Champions League once.
On paper, pundits could be right with their assertions, however, the pedigree of those teams should be a motivation for Aduana, who are aspiring for a continental recognition.
The Ghanaians have the quality to cause a major upset in the group and perhaps progress to the knockout stage. Goalkeeper Joseph Addo, Nathaniel Asamoah and Yahaya Mohammed have all played at the highest level with Asante Kotoko, while centre-back Paul Aidoo was a member of Medeama’s golden generation that made it to the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup in 2016.
Aduana will travel to Abidjan to face Asec from neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire, who have a formidable squad led by the likes of Amed Toure, Komlan Agbeniadgan and Kouame Alphonse Yao 'Forsinho'. However, with Caleb Amankwah, Justice Anane, Aidoo and Stephen Anokye Badu in Aduana's back-four, the traveling supporters could have a glimmer of hope.
After Asec, comes another difficult test, Raja, whose city rivals WAC of Morocco eliminated Aduana from the Caf Champions League in 2011.
Raja will visit the Nana Agyemang Badu I Park to play Aduana, who will next travel to Kinshasa to lock horns with Vita Club in the final fixture of the first round.
Raja are known for a counterattacking football that has always been a nightmare for opponents, especially in away games.
However, their 3-1 away defeat to Rapide Oued Zem this week which sparked chaotic scenes proves Raja are not invincible.
Aduana are yet to record any defeat at home in a Caf organized match this year, which coach Abubakar hopes his side could hold on to during the Caf Confed group stage to at least claim seven points out nine possible.