Asante Kotoko have been knocked out of the Caf Confederation Cup after failing to claim a win in Zambia over Zesco United, who rather walked off with a 2-1 victory. The Ghanaian side needed full marks to advance to the next stage of the competition after missing the opportunity to get the job done last weekend by settling for a 1-1 draw at home against Al Hilal of Sudan.
Zesco fulfilled their promise to fight and win to honour supporters, as they didn’t look like a team who were no longer in the competition, registering 54.35% of possession as opposed to Kotoko’s 45.65.
Both teams battled it out, mostly in the midfield, with Kotoko’s effort to control the proceedings falling slightly behind Zesco’s resistance. Passing success for the hosts was 83.35% while the visitors had 76.65%.
While Kotoko took the fight to Zesco’s doorstep, registering 9 corner kicks against 5 for the hosts, the Zambians appeared to be more mindful of goals, as they had 13 shots on target as opposed to 6 for Kotoko.
Zesco realized a total of 510 passes made while Kotoko had 427, but the home side lost more balls – 128 to 143 for Kotoko, who also had slightly superior recoveries – 65 over 60 for Zesco.
The final result reflects some action on the day, mostly in front of goal, where Zesco boast of 19 positive actions in opposition box, with goals to shots ratio of 13% while Kotoko recorded 13 and 8% in both categories respectively.
Defensively, Kotoko were not bad, despite concerns about an unpredictable back half. The visitors won 14 tackles, while Zesco won 16. The Porcupines made 15 interceptions against 8 for the home side.
Territorial advantage was not hugely exploited by Zesco over Kotoko. It was 55% for the hosts and 45% for the visitors.
According to goalkeeper Felix Annan, Kotoko are happy with their campaign in the Caf Confederation Cup, considering the absence of competitive football in Ghana since June last year.
In Group C, Al Hilal and Nkana move on to the quarterfinals while Kotoko and Zesco bid bye to the competition.