FOR Porcupine Warriors Kumasi Asante Kotoko, wining the MTN/FA Cup this year would be regarded as a huge accomplishment. Previously, that feat was nothing too much to celebrate.
Clearly, it is not that they have not seen that trophy before. In fact, Kotoko have annexed that Golden Fleece eight times already – and are chasing their ninth.
However, this season has been a torrid one for the Asanteman Warriors which at a point saw them wobbling embarrassingly in relegation zone. And, the club had to stage a stormy revolution to climb up to third place – with two games remaining to end the First Capital Plus Premier League (FCPPL).
Though Kotoko (42 points) are not in contention for the title they had won in the last two seasons, as they are adrift the leaders AshantiGold SC by seven points, the Reds would still be excited with a Top 4 finish.
Perhaps, the icing on the cake will be lifting the coveted FA Cup silverware at least, and give their teeming bunch of followers something to relish – especially when they failed at the defence of their premiership title.
To be able to do that, Kotoko would have to beat an imposing Medeama side at the Essipong Sports Stadium in Sekondi tomorrow and that should take an extra effort to pluck.
Medeama, winners of the 2013 edition, have met Kotoko two times in this season’s premiership with both games ending in a stalemate. But in the FA Cup final, there cannot be a dead-heat. There will be a winner at the end of a potentially riveting afternoon of football.
Interestingly, the ‘Proud of the West’ say they are certain to walk away with their second Cup – all at the expense of Kotoko.
Medeama’s Swedish trainer Tom Strand conceded the monstrous nature of the task though, but was highly confident of denying their much illustrious opponents of the much-needed consolation.
“Kotoko obviously will be favourites because they are the defending Champions, but we will also go in for a win,” he told the Ghanaian media on Tuesday.
“It is going to be the difficult but this wouldn’t be the first time we will be facing Kotoko, and I know we can beat them to win the trophy. We want to win and take the trophy back to the Western region.”
Expectedly, Medeama will be banking hopes on Nathaniel Asamoah to deliver them. Asamoah is the leading scorer in the FCPPL with 18 goals to his credit and can be a nagging bother to the Kotoko backline.
Kotoko, on the reverse, appear to be hungrier for the prize at stake. They are motivated by the sheer fact that Sunday’s winner will represent the nation at the next CAF Confederation Cup competition. Having lost out on the league, the Reds know all-too well that the only chance left to snatch a continental place is tomorrow and they cannot afford to let it slip through their fingers.
The Asanteman Warriors are in apple-pie order, having gone undefeated in their last six games or so. From a near-miserable performance, the team now play some composed football with defender Amos Frimpong in an awesome form when joining the attack.
If for nothing at all, Sunday’s final presents a perfect platform as Kotoko seek for a revenge of that harrowing 1-0 defeat, while Medeama aspire for a repeat of that stunning feat.
By John Vigah