Kumasi Asante Kotoko captain, Amos Frimpong, has acknowledged that his side will face tough opposition in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup but remains positive that the Porcupine Warriors will qualify from the group to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Reacting to the draws held yesterday by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which saw Kotoko being pooled in Group C alongside Al Hilal of the Sudan and Zambia duo of Zesco United and Nkana FC, Frimpong told the Daily Graphic via telephone that having come this far, no team would be a stumbling block in Kotoko’s forward march to the quarter-finals, after years of disappointment in CAF’s second tier club competition.
The Porcupine Warriors qualified to the group stage for the first time in 11 years after defeating Coton Sports of Cameroun 2-1 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi last Sunday to seal a 5-3 aggregate victory, having won the first leg tie 3-2 in Garoua, Cameroun.
“We are not scared of any team in our group. This is Kumasi Asante Kotoko, we are a big team in Africa and we have history behind us; the other clubs must rather fear us.
This notwithstanding, we are not going to be complacent in any way. Our target is to move beyond the group stage and qualify for the quarter-finals,” assured Frimpong, who scored Kotoko’s opening goal last Sunday.
Coach Charles Akonnor will lead his charges to commence their group campaign next month with an away encounter against Al Hilal on February 3 in the Sudanese city of Omdurman before returning to Kumasi to play host to Zesco United on February 13.
Kotoko will then fly to Kitwe to play Nkana FC at the Nkana Sports Stadium in Zambia on February 24 to complete the first leg of the group matches.
Skipper Frimpong assured Kotoko fans of the team’s preparedness to go all out against all their group opponents and called for massive support to goad them on.
“After I heard about the draw, I spoke to some of my colleagues and they were all positive about our chances to play in the finals.
We know it will not be easy but we are determined to make a name for ourselves in Kotoko just as our senior players did in the past by conquering Africa on two occasions.”