Call it the judgment day for either Barrack Young Controllers or Kokoto because the expected grueling 90 minutes and possibly extra time on Sunday will determine which of the two teams advances in the CAF Championship League.
Kotoko is in the country aware of its 2-1 advantage against Liberian champions BYC in their first leg encounter last Sunday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana.
Now the Porcupine Warriors are here to complete the contest they began in Ghana. BYC Coach Robert Lartey, and even the entire BYC are not prepared to let that happen.
At the end of their 2-1 loss in Ghana, reports indicated that team rejoiced. Why? Evidently the bookmakers did not give BYC any chance against the Ghanaian champions and winning 2-1 was disappointing to them. The feeling in Ghana before the match was that Kotoko was going to win on a comfortable margin, meaning more goals, to make the second leg on Sunday in Monrovia less stressful. But since that did not happen Kotoko’s Coach Didi indicated that winning was all that mattered and therefore he was comfortable with the 2-1 lead. It was an indication that he was not really excited about the results.
With that disappointing 2-1 win for Kotoko and a joyous loss to the Liberian champions, the return leg on Sunday will decide once and for all which of the teams advances to the next round. BYC coach Robert Lartey told journalists last Sunday that he would strategize; in other words, he would plot Asante Kotoko’s downfall. It seems intriguing for his determination to plot the end of Kotoko’s campaign, but being a man of his words, Liberia soccer fans will be waiting to witness how his charges will accomplish his dream.
Now, trailing 2-1 means that BYC cannot afford to draw the game. While a 0-0 or 1-1 draw will indicate Kotoko is through, BYC will need 1-0 to kick Kotoko out. But if Coach Lartey’s plan to strategize to kick Kototo out of the CAF Championship League is something to hold on to, then he must understand that Kotoko is not coming to Liberia to see what remained after the war. Coach Lartey must also realize that while in Ghana for the first leg, BYC officials told Kotoko and its teeming fans that BYC was not in Ghana to see the Akosombo Dam or to visit Gomoa Buduburam Camp. Hence on Sunday Kotoko’s honor is at stake and BYC’s dream as well.
Soccer history between Ghanaian clubs and those of Liberia is replete with poor performances against Ghanaian clubs right here at home. If BYC must continue its journey into Africa, this particular game should begin that dream. But playing against Asante Kotoko means both teams have jobs to do. But since BYC frustrated Kotoko in its own backyard in Ghana, the return leg should, well be a game to win. Good luck.