Aduana Stars couldn’t make it two wins in a row during the weekend when they travelled to face DR Congo champions Vita Club in Kinshasa on Sunday.
The Fire Club suffered a two-goal reversal which seemingly absorbed their 2-1 win in the reverse fixture played in Dormaa last week.
However, all is not lost as coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi and his team are still very much in the competition from Group A which they share with Raja Casablanca, Asec and of course the Congolese.
Leaders Raja brightened their chances on Sunday by completing a home and away rout over Ivorian representatives, Asec, who lost 4-0 to the North Africans, after falling at home in Abidjan by a lone goal in the first leg.
Raja currently hold 8 points and perhaps need one more win to seal their place in the next round.
Second-placed Vita, who have accumulated 7 points, are edging closer to snaffle the other slot of the group. However, with two difficult games ahead, firstly, against Raja at home and Asec in away fixture, the battle could stretch into the final matchday.
Aduana are third with 4 points. That’s a fragile position in the log but enough to keep hopes alive for a possible qualification.
The Ghanaians must win their two upcoming games to smooth their path. They welcome third-placed Asec on August 19. The reverse fixture went in favour of the Ivorians 1-0. It would not only be a sweet revenge if the Fire Club walk home with a win, but would also narrow the final race to just three clubs, with Asec already eliminated.
That would lift Aduana’s points to 7. A possible stalemate between Vita and Raja, like in their first meeting, would slow down the pace towards the final top, with Aduana still very much in contention.
And there comes the final matchday, which takes the Ghanaian side to Casablanca on August 29. Raja’s display against Asec would send chills down the spine of any potential opponent. However, if Vita could hold the North Africans to a draw (0-0) on the road, Aduana should set sight on an exploit of any dimension to wrap up their group campaign memorably.
Coach Kenichi would likely embrace this as a personal challenge. He wants to prove to many that he is indeed a good and creative coach. He wants to improve his pedigree and boost his value in the market.
But first and foremost, Aduana need to believe they could work something out in this campaign and must not see it as a learning curve against future competitions.
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