Asante Kotoko’s 3:0 thumping of Nkana FC, in the Caf Confederations Cup, has won several hearts and minds for the head coach, Charles Kwablan Akunnor, who many tout as a brainy and a dynamic coach.
Notable amongst these admirers, is the technical director of Dreams FC, Karim Zito, who has applauded the tactical ingenuity of his colleague and former Black Stars captain.
Kotoko, prior to the game against Nkana FC, had conceded in every group game they had played, creating a sense of discomfort for the fans and well-wishers at large.
It appeared the defensive pair of Abdul Ganiu and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu had not knitted so well, after competitively playing together for just three months.
Calls from several quarters of the support base had urged the coach to make some shift in the defensive pair, by sacrificing any of the two regulars for experienced but benched Wahab Adams.
This popular concern was premised on the abysmal showing at Kitwe, which saw Kotoko bow to Nkana FC, in a four goal thriller.
In a reverse fixture of the game, Coach C.K Akunnor, made some key changes to his starting line up giving opportunities to debutants like Martin Antwi, Daniel Darkwa and Wahab Adams.
Darkwa, who played as a left back, assisted in Kotoko’s second goal whilst Antwi scored a stunner of a free kick to make it three for the fabulous lads, with an earlier effort from Abdul Fatau Shafiu.
In the heart of defence, Wahab had combined efficiently with Abdul Ganiu giving no chances to the attacking machinery of Nkana FC.
This display of a brutal tactical bravery which paid off handsomely, seems to have won Zito over, with the latter pouring words of flattery on the former.
“The pairing at the back yesterday limited the mistakes and that tells you that CK Akunnor is a listening type of coach…I am very proud of him”
“There is no book in football that says we don’t change a winning team but the opponents will determine the type of players to use for a particular game”
“It was a phenomenal character from the team and a change of attitude that resulted in our victory over Nkana FC”An elated Zito told Kumasi-based Ash FM.
He finally commended the supporters for their role in ensuring Kotoko’s growth in the competition.
“I will thank all the supporters for supporting the team and it reminds me of our days at Kotoko” he added.
Kotoko will play host to group leaders AL HILAL of Sudan come Sunday the tenth of March, 2019.
Kotoko are currently second on six points, a point behind leaders Hilal.