Soccer News Thu, 2 Jun 2005

Stars Play Kotoko Today

Black Stars coach Ratomir Dujkovic will be keeping a close watch on his charges this afternoon as they take on Kumasi Asante Kotoko in a friendly match at the Baba Yara Stadium in a dress rehearsal for Sunday?s important World Cup qualifier against the Stallions of Burkina Faso.

Dujkovic last Sunday watched the Stallions lose 0-1 to their Togolese counterparts in a similar exercise in Lome, and this afternoon he will seek to fine-tune the Stars into a winsome side.

Thus today?s game against SWAG Cup holders Kotoko will reveal the battle-readiness of the Stars, as well as give coach Dujkovic an insight into which department of the team needs more attention.

The late arrival of the Stars? foreign legion has been a source of worry to the Serbian coach but his captain, Stephen Appiah, on arrival in Accra from Italy last Tuesday allayed the fears, promising nothing short of victory on Sunday.


Fortunately, Appiah has hit top form and rediscovered his scoring boots for Italian champions, Juventus and will, therefore, be expected to provide the needed inspiration and touch of class to the team?s overall performance.

Kotoko?s confidence has been further buoyed by last Saturday?s 2-1 victory over Togolese side Agaza Omnisport in the Nyemitei-SWAG Cup match. The Porcupine Warriors? form is on the ascendancy and are well placed to give the Stars a good run for their money on a familiar turf.

Although the stakes may not be high, the Stars need a morale-boosting victory in order to raise Ghanaians? hopes and boost attendance at Sunday?s match.

Football fans who will troop to the Baba Yara Stadium to catch a glimpse of Ghana?s finest players like Appiah, Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, goalkeeper Sammy Adjei, Yusif Chibsah, among others, will naturally experience some kind of divided loyalty between the league leaders and the national team but the bigger national aspiration to qualify for the FIFA World Cup should galvanise them into throwing the full weight behind their Stars to boost their adrenaline levels and confidence into Sunday?s match with the Burkinabes.

Source: --