Liberian club, Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) who played Kotoko in last Sunday’s CAF Champions League at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium came to Ghana to defend. They lost 2-1 but that was nothing disappointing.
That was the impression given by the technical handler, Robert Lartey at a post-match press conference. According to the coach, theirs was to avoid going down and even if they were to go down, their expectation was that it shouldn’t be by a bigger score line.
Kwabena Adusei neatly converted a penalty in the 39th minute to put Kotoko 1-0 ahead while Isaac Pupo with a well taken free kick in front of the goal area canceled the lead in the 41st minute as his intelligent strike beat Kotoko’s defence and goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye.
Kotoko piled intense heat on BYC a while longer and Seidu Bancey was fouled in the box by goalie Nathaniel Sherman in the 71st minute. It was a penalty. Again, Kwabena Adusei beautifully converted to give Kotoko the deserve 2-1 win.
While Kotoko players rued their inability to win by a much bigger score line, their opponents were enthused with the outcome of the game. BYC players interestingly burst into joy.
Together with their technical team members and officials from the VIP stand; they were seen applauding their efforts after proceedings ended.
Their coach explained that the result in Kumasi was good, promising that they would turn the tables when the return encounter is played in Monrovia this weekend.
“In every game you play, you have to come with a strategy. Our strategy worked because needed a draw. Losing 2-1 to a big side like Kotoko isn’t bad. We are proud of that and we will go back to re-strategise for the second leg in Monrovia” said the visibly elated coach.
Asked what he saw as Kotoko’s weaknesses, the coach politely decline comments giving the impression that saying anything would amount to arming Kotoko well ahead of the crucial second leg game. He said his side respected Kotoko and knew that they could be in trouble if they had taken things for granted.
“We have a young team. We couldn’t open the game because Kotoko could punish us. We stuck to our tactics. Our tactics worked. Immediately Kotoko scored, we opened up and I am saying that our best game comes in attacking. We will go back and re-strategize for the return game”.
In a match that saw two penalties being awarded to Kotoko, some journalists were of the view that the referee was unfair to BYC.
Coach Robert Lartey however disagreed as he stated that they were comfortable with refereeing.
“We have no problem with the referee. We respect his decisions. That is why when Kotoko scored, we took the ball to the centre line” he said.