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CAF Champions League: Kotoko Put Two Past Etoile

A goal in each half from Augustine Okrah and Richard Arthur handed the Porcupine Warriors a much-needed victory.

A goal in each half from Augustine Okrah and Richard Arthur handed the Porcupine Warriors a much-needed victory.

Both teams attacked from the first whistle, displaying soccer wizardry – much to the delight of the fans who braved the cold weather to cheer their teams.

Kotoko exerted pressure on Etoile from the start and their efforts were rewarded in the third minute after they forced the visitors to commit an error outside the box, with Augustine Okrah steeping up to slot in the free-kick into the back of the net.

Etoile tried to get back in the game, but were outplayed in midfield and lacked spark in the attack. However, they came close to levelling the score just after the break but were denied by some excellent goalkeeping from Felix Annan.

Kotoko’s first corner of the match resulted in a goalmouth scramble, and Jordan Opoku tried an overhead kick from six yards out – but his acrobatic effort was superbly saved by Makrem with his feet.

Etoile came into the game a bit after that, and Beaoui Merik should have equalised, but with just the keeper to beat, he fired wide.

Just on the half-hour mark, Emmanuel Gyamfi had the chance to extend the lead but missed the target.

Despite the misses, Kotoko were impressive on their forward forays, with Justice Blay orchestrating the operations as the Porcupine Warriors swamped Etoile territory in search of a goal.

The Tunisian looked dangerous on a few raids they launched and had Kotoko’s rear-guard reeling as they piled on the pressure, but were bugged by one problem: impatience in front of goal.

But however much Etoile pushed forward, Empem Dacosta, Patrick Yeboah and Habib Mohammed stood firm.

There was not much difference in the second half, but Kotoko’ efforts were again rewarded with a second goal when Richard Arthur doubled the lead with a perfect shot 11 minutes after the resumption.

Etoile had a chance to come back into the game but substitute Tafare Yanis wasted a great chance when, in a one-on-one situation, he fired straight at Annan.

The game became more open as Etoile pressed forward in search of a goal and Kotoko looked to hit on the counter, but in the end, the Porcupine Warriors held onto their two-goal lead.

Elsewhere, ten-man Al-Hilal managed to hold Enyimba to a barren draw in Nigeria.

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