Football

Kotoko coach Konadu unhappy with referee in Nouadhibou clash

Asante Kotoko head coach Maxwell Konadu believes their inability to register a win in their 2020-21 Caf Champions League opener against Mauritian side Nouadhibou was allegedly a result of unfavourable refereeing decisions.

The Porcupine Warriors opened their campaign with a 1-1 away draw at Stade Cheikha Ould Boidiya in Nouadhibou on Sunday.

Osman Ibrahim put the visitors in the lead in just the fifth minute but Hemeya Tanjy drew level for the home side from the spot minutes later after the referee adjudged the ball to have struck the arm of Yussif Mubarik, much to the dismay of Kotoko officials.

“A draw is not bad, but I think that if the officiating was a bit better today, we would have won the game,” Konadu told Silver FM.

“However, a Champions League 1-1 away draw is better than a goalless stalemate.

“We have taken the 1-1 result in good faith, we will go home and work harder to ensure we beat them by at least one or two unanswered goals so we can progress to the next stage.”

Kotoko are set to host Nouadhibou for the return fixture in Accra on December 6. The Porcupine Warriors have had to move their home ground away from Kumasi due to ongoing renovation works at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

The aggregate winners after the two legs progress to the next round of the competition to play against Al Hilal Club of Sudan or Ugandan outfit Vipers.

“Our boys played very well, but you can clearly see there is something wrong with the officiating referee,” Kotoko management member Dentaa Amoateng told Silver FM.

“As we’ve drawn 1-1 here, we will kill them in Ghana.”

Kotoko have set their sight to at least make the group stage of the Champions League this year, their last berth coming in 2006.

In Africa last year, the Porcupine Warriors were bundled out of the championship in the first round by Tunisian club Etoile Sahel.

Two-time champions, their last triumph came in 1983 when they beat Al Ahli of Egypt in the final.