The celebrations over the crushing of the once fearsome Asante Kotoko in the 2014 CAF Championship League have rarely settled when reports have filtered in that BYC’s next opponents are Séwé Sport de San-Pédro, Cote d’Ivoire.
And like the Ghanaian champions, Séwé Sport de San-Pédro made several appearances in the CAF Championship League as well as the Ivorian Premier and the Coupe Houphouet-Boigny.
Séwé Sport de San-Pédro won the Ivorian Premier Division twice in 2012 and 2013. They have won the Coupe Houphouet-Boigny three times in 2005, 2012 and 2013.
In the CAF Championship League, they lost in the first round in 2007 and in the Group Stage in 2013.
At the CAF Confederation Cup, Séwé Sport de San-Pédro made four appearances: they were eliminated in the first round in 2006 and 2010 and in the preliminary round in 2011 and 2012.
They will be going for their third appearance in the CAF Championship League in 2014 and their current contender in the Group Stage is Barrack Young Controllers.
It makes sense to ask the question: what are lessons that BYC learned from their first outing in the CAF Championship League against Asante Kotoko to aid them in the next round?
Against Kotoko, BYC lost 2-1 in Kumasi and managed a late goal (1-0) at home in Monrovia. Was that victory impressive, knowing that BYC did not exhibit too much aggression and made mistakes as they reached Kotoko’s dangerous area? There was too much play in the midfield and individual moves did not yield desired results. But thanks for the somehow effective substitution!
True, the end result was that BYC won, but remember that late goals are dangerous to place a team’s hopes on. Again while the 1-0 win eventually sent Kotoko packing to nurse their wounds, an effective strategy is important against Séwé Sport de San-Pédro
In the Kotoko game, there were few shots but sadly they were misdirected.
It is possible that BYC technical team has not paid much attention to Ivorian football and may not have details about how Séwé Sport de San-Pédro’s coaches plot their games.
And that can equally be said about the technical team of Séwé Sport de San-Pédro, but I am convinced that knowing the prowess of Asante Kotoko in African football, aware of Ghana’s recent success story in football and yet Liberian champions could send them packing, makes sense to believe that Séwé Sport de San-Pédro’s handlers are curiously examining how Kotoko lost their campaign and to also plot their chances.
For the record, it is the first time that a Liberian club has eliminated Asante Kotoko in a competition. It is a record that we should not overlook.
So with the next target against a team from Ivory Coast, where Asec Mimosas and Africa Sports have made problems for Liberian soccer teams in the past, the LFA and all interested groups should get busy with the hope that the Ivorian menace can be also put to rest.
I am also sure that in today’s Ghana, the message is clear that Liberian football has come of age. And if anyone in Ghana still cannot believe it, at least not officials and players of Asante Kotoko. And it is a message that Ivorians need to know.