Babayoure Sawadogo the Rail Club de Kadiogo goalkeeper performed wonders at the Babayara sports stadium as Asante Kotoko were eliminated from the CAF Champions League on Sunday.
The Kadiogo hero gave exclusive audience to Ghana Sports Market after the game.
Influential midfielder Dramane Kambou scored from a deflected free-kick effort in the 16th minute to bring the champions of Burkina Faso level with Kotoko. (1-1 on aggregate)
In the ensuing penalty shoot-out , the team of coach Amadou Sampo who was absent from the match due to a reported Covid-19 positive result , clinched a great 3-1 win to advance to the next round of the Champions League.
Babayoure Sawadogo the national team goalkeeper who is also captain of his team prevented three Kotoko penalties from entering his net during the penalty shoot-out.
Only Mubarik Yussif scored against Babayoure. Solomon Sarfo Taylor and Enock Morrison saw their kicks superbly saved by the RC Kadiogo goalkeeper.
In a bizarre run-up to take his kick , Kotoko’s Nicholas Osei Bonsu tried to intimidate Babayoure by whipping up enthusiasm from the home crowd but the unperturbed RC Kadiogo custodian kept his cool in between his sticks to prevent Bonsu’s attempt which went just wide.
Following the match , Ghana Sports Market exclusively sat down with Babayoure to listen to how he toppled Asante Kotoko on their own soil.
Ghana Sports Market : First of all congratulations Babayoure for the qualification of your team.
Babayoure Sawadogo : Thank you very much Gariba.
Ghana Sports Market : Be honest. Before the match did you really believe you were going to qualify ahead of Kotoko?
Babayoure Sawadogo : Yes sure sure. After the first leg in Cotonou , we knew we had a game at hand in Kumasi. If you had followed all my interviews I kept on saying we are in this tie. We lost the first game but we told ourselves the tie is played in two legs and that we can come and search for the qualification here.
I told my teammates that we can eliminate Kotoko in this stadium. For me personally this is my third qualification over a Ghana side here at this stadium. In 2017 I came here with local Burkina Faso team to eliminate the Ghana team at this same stadium. In fact on two occasions I was captain of the Burkina team that came here to beat Ghana and qualify. So this was what I told my friends that we are capable of achieving the feat and thank God we did it.
Ghana Sports Market : Yes I remember those games at the Babayara. Yannick Pognongo scored a late goal to win it for Burkina.
Babayoure Sawadogo : Sure I was the goalkeeper on that day and I was also the captain. I was the one who released that long ball for Pognongo to score that last-minute goal at the Bayayara stadium. So you can see it is my stadium – Babayara and my name is Babayoure ( he chuckles).
Ghana Sports Market : How crucial was the early goal your team scored?
Babayoure Sawadogo : Yes we scored very early in the game and I told my players that we have an early goal but it is never going to be easy and so they needed to stay firm. Because we knew Kotoko were going to come all out to try to equalize. We wanted a second goal to consolidate our lead in the game and the tie but we could not have that. We stayed solid and held on to win it on penalties.
Ghana Sports Market : Let us talk about the biggest chance of the game for Kotoko in the 11th minute for Steven Mukwala. You were lucky not to have conceded on that occasion.
Babayoure Sawadogo : Yes it was a big chance for them. I came out and gave the ball to my player on the side but he slipped off and fell down. The striker took the shot and I was able to catch the ball. Luck really smiled at us. We were very lucky there and we thank God he that we did not concede.
Ghana Sports Market : You stopped three penalties from entering your net during the shoot-out at the famous Babayara stadium. How did you do it?
Babayoure Sawadogo : Like I told you at the beginning the Babayara stadium smiles at me always. The name of the stadium is Babayara and myself my name is Babayoure and so it is my stadium (he laughs off ). I always have a great game here.
Ghana Sports Market : On your first penalty save , you dived to the left side. For your second , you moved to your right to save it. Why did you change directions? Did you have any prior knowledge about the Kotoko players in terms of how they take their penalties?
Babayoure Sawadogo : No I had no knowledge of the Kotoko penalty takers. I don’t know them but you know as a goalkeeper I have my secrets that helped me study the players in their run-up.
Ghana Sports Market : Thank you very much for your time Babayoure and I wish you well.
Babayoure Sawadogo : You are welcome Gariba and thanks too for having me.
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