Ghana’s torchbearers in Africa, Asante Kotoko were destined to have a bite of Cameroon football in the 2018/19 Caf Confederation Cup competition. The Porcupine Warriors will battle Coton Sport FC de Garoua in the playoffs scheduled for January, according to Friday’s draw.
Kotoko were initially drawn to face the Cup winners from Cameroon in the preliminary round of the Confederation Cup but enjoyed a walkover victory following Fecafoot’s failure to confirm their representative to Caf on time back in November.
Coach C.K Akonnor’s side went on to account for Kenya’s Kariobangi Sharks with a 2-1 aggregate win in the Round of 32.
Now the Ghanaian giants, in their hunt for continental glory, would begin a tricky decider to the group stage with a trip to Central Africa to face Coton Sport at Stade Militaire de Yaoundé on the weekend of January 11, 12 and 13.
Kotoko host the 15-time Cameroon Elite One champions in the reverse fixture at Baba Yara Sports Stadium the following weekend, likely Sunday, January 20.
Successfully negotiating this hurdle will see Asante Kotoko make a return to the group stage for the first time in over a decade – their last being 2008.
Coton Sport’s Africa campaign so far
Les Cotonniers kicked out Burkina Faso champions ASF Bobo Dioluasso at the preliminary round stage via penalty shootouts after both sides secured 3-1 home wins in two legs. The Cameroonians then won 5-3 in the shootouts.
Coton Sport were however eliminated from the Caf Champions League by Ismaily SC who beat them 3-2 on aggregate. They lost 2-0 away before edging the Egyptian giants 2-1 at home on December 22, a result which was not enough to see them through to the group stage of the elite inter-club competition.
Almost like Asante Kotoko, the 2018 Cameroonian league champions had, until the start of the ongoing Caf inter-club competition, also been competitively inactive on the domestic front. Coton Sport last played on July 29 when they thrashed Dragon de Yaoundé 3-0 in their final game of the 2018 season.
Kotoko, on the other hand, have also been limited to featuring in friendly matches since the Anas corruption exposé on Ghana football last June.
The playoffs draw in full:
Friday’s draw in Cairo served up some mouthwatering pairings (See below).
Fifteen teams are expected to advance and join Etoile du Sahel for the group stage of the 2018/19 Caf Confederation Cup.