The second leg of the 2020-21 CAF Confederation Cup playoffs games comes off today, Sunday, February 21 across the continent.
Ghana’s sole representative, Asante Kotoko SC will today face Algerian giants Entente Sportive de Setif in Algeria for their second leg clash in search of a possible place into the group stages.
The Porcupine Warriors suffered a 2-1 home defeat in the first leg at the Accra Sports Stadium a week ago which makes the second leg a very tall mountain to climb following their recent showings in Africa against North African teams.
North African clubs have won 8 times in Ghana. – Hearts 1-2 Arab Contractors, Ghapoha 0-1 USM Alger, Dwarfs 0-2 Ismailia, King Faisal 1-2 FAR Rabat, Kotoko 1-2 MC El Eulma, Wa All Stars 1-3 Al Ahli Tripoli, Kotoko 0-1 Al Hilal & Kotoko 1-2 ES Setif. Kotoko have lost the most – 3.
Asante Kotoko are yet to win a game in the 2020-21 CAF Inter-clubs competition after drawing 1-1 in Mauritania against Noaudhibou FC, the second leg was not honoured due to issues pertaining to Covid-19.
In Kotoko’s Champions League playoffs game against another North African side Al Hilal Omdurman from Sudan, the Red and Whites suffered a 0-1 defeat at home and the second leg was not honoured in Sudan after the Porcupines failed to raise a team for the game due to the outbreak of coronavirus at the team’s camp.
After their painful elimination from the Champions League, the Ghanaian giants were paired with ES Setif from Algeria and despite taking the lead through a nice finish from striker Kwame Opoku, the two-time CAF Champions League winners went ahead to suffer another loss at home making the return leg a big mountain to climb.
Kotoko’s task becomes very difficult as no Ghanaian club have been able to progress to the next stage after losing the 1st leg at home in a CAF Inter-Club games since 1966. Only Kotoko 2-2 vs Stade Abidjan in 1966, Hearts 0-0 vs Simba in 1974, and AshGold 0-0 vs Asec in 1995 have got a point at away after losing a home.
The Porcupine Warriors face an improbable mission in Algeria when they take on ES Setif this evening in the CAF Confederation Cup playoffs.
Current form of both teams
The Porcupine Warriors have lost just one of their last five games in all competitions.
After beating Ebusua Dwarfs 1-0 away from home Abdul Gazale’s men suffered a shocking 1-0 home defeat to Aduana Stars.
The Kumasi-based side followed the result with a 0-0 draw with AshantiGold and consecutive victories over Inter Allies and Karela United.
They are currently top of the Ghana Premier League log.
The Black Eagles have also lost just one of their last six matches in all competitions.
After losing 1-0 to MC Alger, ES Setif followed with a labored 1-0 away win over CS Constantine.
They then recorded consecutive draws with Olympique Medea and CR Belouizdad. The Algerian powerhouses recorded a 4-1 win over MC Oran afterwards.
ES Setif are currently top of the Algerian top flight.
• ES Setif have lost just one of their last 11 matches (W8 D2 L1). During that period, they have scored 19 goals and conceded just five.
• ES Setif have lost just one league game this season. They have played 12 games (W8 D3 L1).
• Asante Kotoko have lost two of their last six home matches in the league.
• The Porcupine Warriors have lost three of their last ten matches (W4 D3 L3). They have scored eight during that period and conceded six.
Where to watch:
The game is slated for a 5 pm kick-off on Sunday evening, and it will be broadcasted live on Algerian TV’s Facebook page.
Date: February 21, 2021
Time: 5:00pm Local time
Venue: 8 May 1945 Stadium
Prediction: ES Setif 1:2 Asante Kotoko