A 93rd-minute goal by substitute Yakubu Mohamed gave Kotoko a narrow win over CARA of Congo at Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi.
In a game that witnessed five penalties, which saw four wasted, three for Asante Kotoko and the other on the part of the Cara, it took yet another last minutes penalty for the homers to settle matters.
The home team dominated proceedings right from the blast of the whistle bombarding the goal area of CARA but the Congolese giants were resolute in defence.
Asante Kotoko was awarded the first penalty after six minutes when Emmanuel Gyamfi was fouled in the box, but Sadick Adams blasted wide to end the first half goalless.
Back from recess and both teams continued from where they left off with Kotoko dominating the exchanges. They were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute and again it was wasted as goalkeeper Massa saved captain Amos Frimpong’s kick.
The Porcupine Warriors were awarded another penalty in the 67th minute and goalkeeper Massa again saved Baba Mahama’s kick.
CARA had a chance to get an away goal after they were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute but Kotoko goalkeeper Felix Annan denied goalkeeper Massa Chancel from the spot.
In 4minutes added-on time, Yakubu Mohamed converted a penalty to hand Kotoko a slim lead ahead of the second leg on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 in Congo Brazzaville.