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CAF Confederation Cup

Caf Confederation Cup: Kotoko 3-0 Nkana FC: Porcupine Warriors run riot in Kumasi

19:52 SAST 2019/03/03
Martin Antwi of Kotoko
A fine home performance saw CK Akonnor's side beat their Zambian counterpart to pick their second three points of the group stage

A spirited first-half performance saw Asante Kotoko beat Zambia's Nkana FC 3-0 in the Caf Confederation Cup group stage on Sunday.

Goals from Safiu Abdul Fatawu, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Martin Antwi, all inside the first stanza, handed the Porcupine Warriors all three points in the matchday four fixture at Kumasi's Baba Yara Stadium.

The result has moved Charles 'CK' Akonnor's outfit to second in Group C behind Sudan's Al Hilal Omdurman, who beat Zesco United - also of Zambia - 3-1 in the other group game to reach seventh points. Kotoko, on six points, are only ahead of tie-mates Nkana, who sit third due to an inferior goal difference. Bottom-placed Zesco, on the other hand, have four marks to their name.

Akonnor's matchday line-up featured four new faces from the side that started the first leg, which ended 3-1 in favour of Kalampa. 

Right-back Augustine Sefah displaced Habib Mohammed while, in the absence of suspended captain Amos Frimpong, Daniel Darkwah was handed the left-back spot ahead of Abass Mohammed. Also, Wahab Adams took the place of Emmanuel Agyemang Badu at centre-back as Martin Antwi replaced Maxwell Baakoh on the left wing.

Nkana's set-up also featured three changes. With Musa Mohammed and Richard Ocran suspended, Moses Nyondo and Ben Adama Bahn got the starting nod, while Harrison Chisala replaced Kelvin Kampamba.

It didn't take long for the home side to open the scoring as Safiu Abdul Fatawu 's free-kick from outside the box beat goalkeeper Allan Chibwe at the near-post in the fourth minute.

Songne Yacouba then flashed a low shot across the face of goal, but the effort was unable to find a final connection.

In the 10th minute, Fatawu almost made it 2-0 but his low shot from inside the box, after Yacouba beat his marker and delivered a cut-back, was this time around collected by the goalkeeper.

Yacouba saw a shot kept out of the net by Chibwe before Adams' glancing header from the resulting corner was parried away to safety.

On 23 minutes, Kotoko made it 2-0 through Emmanuel Gyamfi , who reacted quickly to hit a rebound into the net after Chibwe's save from Darkwah's cross came off the post. The goal-scorer, however, could not continue the game as he picked up an injury in the process and had to be replaced.

The score turned to 3-0 four minutes later when Antwi' s long free-kick flew over a seemingly dazed Chibwe into the net. The goalkeeper was substituted three minutes later.

After the interval, Nkana came back stronger, taking the game to the hosts and forcing a brief scare at Baba Yara. The early dominance, however, created nothing but half chances.

Interestingly, the closest to a goal in the second half was Yacouba's 72nd-minute free-kick, which was pushed away by substitute goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga.

In front of a charged home crowd, the Porcupine Warriors held on to claim a valuable 3-0 win.

Kotoko return to action on matchday five with a home game against Al Hilal on March 10, same day Nkana host Zesco in an all-Zambian affair.

The top two teams at the end of the group series qualify for the quarter-finals.