Kotoko come from behind in Champions League

July 29, 2006

OBUASI, Ghana, July 29 (Reuters) - Asante Kotoko twice came from behind to register their first points in the group phase of the African Champions League with a thrilling 4-2 win over Tunisia's CS Sfaxien on Saturday.

The Ghanaian club, who lost their opening Group A match in Algeria earlier this month, conceded a goal to Sfaxien striker Blaise Kouassi after just five minutes but stormed back with two goals in the second half to claim the points.

Sfaxien, who had scored an upset win over defending champions Al Ahli of Egypt in their first group match on July 15, looked to enforce their new-found reputation as Kouassi netted with a spectacular diving header that diverted the ball away from Kotoko goalkeeper Eric Nii Baah.

But the lead lasted just three minutes. Kotoko, who are being forced to play away from their home ground in Kumasi because it is undergoing renovations, drew level when Ahmed Toure arrived unmarked to power home a header after a perfect cross from left back Aziz Ansah.

Sfaxien restored their lead with a header from Mohamed Kadri midway through the first half, forcing Kotoko to fight back again to level in the 36th minute through Edmund Owusu-Ansah. His long-range shot crept along the ground to beat the visiting team's goalkeeper.

Owusu-Ansah struck a similar effort from well outside the penalty area two minutes before halftime but it bounced back off the post.

Kotoko finally took the lead in the 76th minute when substitute Osei Kwame's low drive took a wicked deflection and the hosts made sure of the win when Nana Arhin Duah expertly placed the ball into the net with a deft shot from a tight angle three minutes later.

Al Ahli host JS Kabylie of Algeria in the weekend's other Group A game in Cairo later on Saturday.