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Al Hilal hold Kotoko


Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Al Hilal of Sudan shared the spoils when their Total CAF Confederation Cup ended in a pulsating 1-1 draw, at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, yesterday.

The Asanteman contingent were looking for two straight wins to top the
Group with nine points, after humbling Nkana FC 3-0, a week ago at same venue.

However, the Sudanese were a delight to watch as they appeared more
composed, tactical and focused on dealing with the host.

Both teams took off in fascinating with the visitors earning two corner
kicks in the first five minutes but wasted them.

Kotoko accepted the challenge and nearly found the back of the net with
their first corner kick but Emmanuel Gyamfi’s header went off target in the
ninth minute.

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Marching the reds boot-for-boot, the visitors nearly caused a stir as
Mohammed Musah Eldai watched his drive missed the posts in the 14th minute to
the relief of the Kotoko fans.

It looked quite nervy for the Asanteman lads as the Sudanese
dominated with their inter-positional play and short passes from the 32nd
minute.

Waleed Bakhet Hamid headed home a volley from Atahir El Tahir Babikir
Mohammed from a goal mouth melee to put the visitors ahead.

Kotoko accepted the challenge and had the opportunity to cancel the lead
but Sogne Yacouba, who capitalised on a defensive blunder, headed over the bar
in the 35th minute while Emmanuel Gyamfi fired off target a golden chance
two minutes later to the chagrin of the teeming supporters. 

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The second half saw the hosts pressing for an equalizer with Abdul Fatau
Safiu grazing the woodwork and hitting the post with free kicks on the 59th and
65th minutes mark, respectively.

But, for Felix Annan, who stretched to his limit to parry the ball
to corner, Waleed Bakhet Hamid would have netted the second goal for his side
in the 74th minute.

When all pointed to a sad day for the Reds, a throw in saw Songne
Yacouba fetch the equalizer with a powerful header in the 85th minute which
goal was greeted with thunderous applause.

The goal gingered the Porcupine Warrior who pushed more men forward in search of the winner but the visitors defended to earn a point.

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FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI

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