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Football | CAF Champions League

Asante Kotoko © Backpagepix

Former stars inspire Kotoko in ACL



Asante Kotoko of Ghana took a trip down memory lane before whipping Sony Ela Nguema of Equatorial Guinea 7-0 at the weekend in a CAF Champions League preliminary round match.

Kotoko officials invited members of the 1983 team that conquered Africa to meet with the current squad a day before the match at Baba Yara stadium in central city Kumasi.

Whatever former stars like Ibrahim Sunday, Opoku Afriyie and Maxwell Konadu said, it had the desired effect as the Porcupine Warriors scored four goals by half-time and a further three during the second half.

Kofi Boakye bagged a brace and there were single-goal contributions from Abdulaziz Yusif, Michael Anaba, Richard Mpong, substitute Siedu Bancey and Joseph Ochaya.

Kotoko, once among the most feared football clubs on the continent, have had minimal impact on the premier competition since defeating Al Ahly of Egypt to lift the trophy a second time 30 years ago.

Zamalek of Egypt also triumphed 7-0 at home with Ahmed Gaafar, Mohamed Ibrahim and Burkinabe Abdoulaye Cisse scoring twice each and veteran Ahmed Hassan once in the Alexandria rout of Gazelle from Chad.

After building a 3-0 half-time advantage before a crowd limited to 5,000 by post-Arab Spring security concerns, the White Knights struck another four goals during a late 15-minute onslaught.

Like Kotoko, Zamalek have struggled to make their presence felt at African level since the turn of the century, with the last of five Champions League titles coming 11 years ago.

The record winning margin for a game in the competition is nine goals, which was created by Kabwe Warriors of Zambia in 1972 and equalled by Raja Casablanca of Morocco two years ago.

What the seven-goal first leg romps did was virtually ensure Kotoko and Zamalek feature in the round of 32 with JSM Bejaia of Algeria and Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively the likely opponents.

Bejaia built a 3-0 lead over Nigerien visitors Olympic last Friday and Vita won by the same scoreline at home to Togolese team Dynamic 48 hours later with Taddy Etekiama bagging a brace in Kinshasa.

Handsome victory margins were the order of the weekend for former champions with Zimbabwean Takesure Chinyama scoring four goals as Orlando Pirates of South Africa cruised to a 5-0 home victory over Djabal from the Comoros Islands.

The exceptions were 1979 champions Union Douala of Cameroon, who had to claw back from conceding an early second half goal for a 2-1 home win over modest visitors LISCR of Liberia.

Dominic Jarteh opened the scoring six minutes after half-time in Atlantic port city Douala, Vincent Manga equalised and Jude Kongnyuy grabbed the winning goal 11 minutes from time.

It was a disappointing weekend for Cameroonian clubs -- whose last Champions League title came in 1980 -- with brilliant saves from Allan Owiny enabling Ugandan outfit Revenue Authority to hold Coton Sport 0-0 in Garoua.

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