CAF Champions League prelims: Medeama plot Horoya AC downfall
Jonathan Sowah -Medeama SC
Ghanaian champions, Medeama SC will attempt a historical appearance at the group stages of the ongoing CAF Champions League when they play as guests of Guinean giants, Horoya AC in the second-leg second-round playoff tie today at the General Lansana Conté Stadium in Conakry.
The Yellow and Mauves heads into the tie on the back of a 3-1 victory from the first leg in Cape Coast a fortnight
Should the Tarkwa-based club clear the Horoya hurdle, they will become the first Ghanaian team to make it to the group stage of the competition in over a decade since Berekum Chelsea last featured in 2012.
Playing in their maiden Champions League competition, coach Augustine Evans Adotey and his charges are determined to produce an outstanding performance to complement that of the first leg, which would see them through to the group stages.
Carrying a 3-1 advantage into the game, coach Adotey remains cautious about the task, as he notes that he would be approaching the game as if it were 0-0 from the first leg.
“We have gotten to a stage where complacency is nowhere near our books as we head into the game today. We are very focused on reaching the group stages, and until we achieve that, we are not taking our feet off the pedal,” he stated.
The reigning Ghana Premier League champions have had a challenging start to their domestic title defence, failing to secure a win in their opening two fixtures.
Drawing a 2-2 draw at home with Accra Lions and then a 2-0 defeat at the hands of former champions Aduana FC in Dormaa last Sunday have raised eyebrows about the team’s preparedness for the Horoya AC task but coach Adotey seems not to be perturbed by the results from the two league games, pinning them to the injuries facing the team.
However, coach Adotey is brimming with smiles ahead of the game today as ‘tormentor-in-chief’ and striker Jonathan Sowah has made a swift recovery from a minor injury and is available for the game today.
Midfielder Manuel Mantey and experienced defenders Fatawu Hamidu and Kwadwo Amoako have all passed a late fitness test and will be available for selection today after missing out on their last game against the Aduana Stars.
The task in Guinea is expected to be a daunting one for the Ghanaian champions following Horoya’s consistency at the group stage of the competition.
The Guineans eliminated Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas at this stage last year to reach the group stage and are counting on their experience in the competition to get past Medeama today.
For many, Horoya remain favorites to win the game, but what remains to be seen is whether they can dump out Medeama or whether the latter will cause an upset in the competition by eliminating the Guinean giants.
Algerian referee Nabil Boukhalfa has been appointed to officiate the game with assistance from Brahim El Hamlaoui, Sid Ali, and Mohammed Serradj, with Loutfi Bekouassa as the fourth official.
By Raymond Ackumey