Players promise to end winless run
Posted on: Mon May 07, 2012
Having played three successive matches, two in the league against Berekum Arsenal and Kpando Heart of Lions and the other in the MTN FA Cup against Amidaus Professionals without victory, players of Asante Kotoko will leave no stone unturned when they welcome Bechem United to the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking to Kotoko Express on Saturday after their disappointing 0-2 loss to division one campaigners Amidaus Professionals in the MTN FA Cup round of 16 at the Tema Park, skipper Isaac Amoako on behalf of his colleagues apologized to the teeming supporters of Kotoko for their failure in the competition.
He promised that they would lift themselves above board and beat Bechem United convincingly to compensate the fans and also protect their unbeaten record at home in this season’s Glo Premier League.
“In fact we have let our fans down today and we apologize for that. We assure them that they will see a different football in our next game against Bechem United in Kumasi” said Amoako who looked dejected for their inability to make progress in the FA Cup.
The Porcupine Warriors made an impressive start in this year’s MTN FA Cup by thrashing division two side Sawla Stars 4-0 in Kumasi at the round of 64 on January 22, 2012. The team continued with another vintage performance against Sekondi Hasaacas (1-0) at the same venue on March 18, 2012 to seal qualification to the round of 16 where their hopes were crashed out.
Amidaus Professionals on their way to the quarter finals eliminated Ajax FC 5-4 on penalties at the preliminary stage on December 15, 2011. Both teams settled on a 1-1 draw. Amidaus went ahead to triumph over Samartex 4-3 on penalties after both teams had settled on a 2-2 draw on January 20, 2012. Amidaus showed class in another penalty shoot-out (4-3) to send out Golden Eyes after playing 2-2 in regulation time on March 20, 2012 before repeating the dose on the Fabulous Boys last Saturday.
Before their encounter with the uncrowned league champions, many people tipped Coach Maxwell Konadu and his boys as favourite to advance to the quarter finals but in the end Amidaus caused a big surprise by sending Kotoko home packing. The Tema based team, formerly called Tete Atempong who are currently enjoying at the summit of Zone 3A in the division one league with 26 points played a well determined game to the delight of football lovers.
Wearing their colourful all white attire over white hoses as against the red dominated jersey of Kotoko, Coach Tony Lokko and his boys played aggressively and gave Kotoko close marking throughout the game. Notwithstanding that, Kotoko created many chances but failed to utilize them. The biggest chance came in the 27th and 30th minute where David Offei and Ahmed Toure had only goalkeeper Eric Ofori Antwi to beat but surprisingly they failed to hit the back of the net.
This was after John Kuffour had scored an own goal in his attempt to clear skillful striker Adjei Selasi’s cross in the 13th minute before the same striker capitalized on a miscommunication between goalkeeper Isaac Amoako and central defender Osei Kofi to seal the deal for his side.
Kotoko supporters left the Tema stadium very disappointed. A few of them who spoke with Kotoko Express after the game charged management and the technical staff to work hard and bring the team to winning ways despite the fact that Kotoko had already won the Glo Premier League.
Below is the minute by minute account of the game:
1st minute: Amidaus Professionals lose possession to Mike Anaba in the midfield. The hard working midfielder gives a quick pass to his name sake, Mike Akuffu who is pushed down to win free kick about 25 metres away but it poses no problem to Amidaus.
3rd minute: Amidaus make their intention to win the game clear as they initiate a nice move from the back and win a corner kick eventually. Skillful winger Kofi Koomson powerfully takes the corner and Emmanuel Morgan tries to nod home but goalie Isaac Amoako saves it beautifully.
6th minute: Kotoko return the heat on Amidaus. Yaw Frimpong gets the ball and beautifully outwits his marker, Victor Ayirey who has no option than to bring him down on the right flank. Fast improving Gideon Baah curls the ball into the 18 yard box but Amidaus defend well.
8th minute: Tough central defender Philip Ackah receives first yellow card from referee S.K Gyasi for obstructing Gideon Baah who is surging forward. Akuffu takes the free kick but striker Ahmed Toure is flagged off side.
11th minute: Gideon Baah goes through four opponents with amazing skills and wins a loud applause for his effort. He gives a through pass to Emmanuel Adu Offei but the reserve team player fails to control the ball well.
13th minute: GOAL! Amidaus surges forward. Derrick Appiah sends a long pass to Adjei Selasi on the right flank and he powerfully crosses the ball in. Rugged defender John Kuffour makes attempt to clear the ball but it deflects him and beats Amoako to put Amidaus into the lead. The “friends of Amidaus” burst into wild jubilation.
16th minute: Kotoko search for the equalizer. Akuffu floats the ball upfront and Adu Offei goes for an aerial challenge with his right foot. The referee awards free kick against him and cautions him verbally.
20th minute: Mike Anaba attracts yellow card for a hard tackle on Arthur Benjamin in the midfield. He shows remorse and quickly attends to the victim who is gnashing his teeth on the field. Arthur is stretched off to receive medical treatment and returns a minute later.
24th minute: Yaw Frimpong demonstrates his usual overlapping ability and beats three opponents but he is brought down some few metres away from Amidaus goal area. He takes the free kick himself but Anaba misses the header.
27th minute: David Offei misses a glorious chance. He gets a through pass from Fatawu Mohammed and with only goalie Eric Ofori Antwi to beat; he surprisingly shoots the ball straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. The fans express total disappointment about Offei’s inability to convert the great chance..
30th minute: Another big opportunity goes missing this time round from striker Ahmed Toure. Osei Kofi sends a long pass from the back and the ball bounces over goalkeeper Ofori and neatly reaches Ahmed Toure who is in front of the yawning net. The Ivorian striker delays in tapping the ball into the net and the goalkeeper recovers quickly to save his low grounder. Everybody at the stadium cannot believe how Toure failed to bring Kotoko on level terms.
33rd minute: Amidaus catch Kotoko on the break and nearly punish them but Amoako comes forward to grab the ball firmly.
37th minute: Amidaus start to play aggressively. Well built defender Issah Anal strongly challenges Akuffu and brings him down but the referee signals for play on. Akuffu and colleagues go to the referee and express their displeasure about the aggressive football by the opponent.
41nd minute: Kotoko win corner kick but the goalkeeper out-jumps everybody and saves the ball.
44th minute: The first half is about to end. Two minutes of time added on is shown by the fourth referee J.A Amenya. Kotoko make last minute incursion but Fatawu’s cross from the wing goes over the post.
47th minute: The tempo of the game is quickly rising. Kotoko search for the equalizer while Amidaus defend well. The ball gets to Toure upfront but he loses possession to Patrick Ampah. Ampah sends a long drive but John Kuffour heads the ball to throw. Richard Yeboah replaces Fatawu and he brings new strength into the game.
51st minute: Amoako comes outside the 18 yard box and challenges an aerial ball against Adjei Selasi. The striker falls down and he is struggling in pain. He is stretched off for treatment and returns two minutes later. The free kick awarded to Amidaus yields no positive result.
55th minute: Victor Ayirey defends beautifully and stops Yaw Frimpong who is about to pull the trigger in the 18 yard box. He wins a loud applause from the crowd.
58th minute: Amidaus eager to the seal. They attack Kotoko from the left flank. The ball reaches Sani Musah who replaced Philip Ackah in the 53rd minute. He fires but the ball goes over the post.
61st minute: Dangerous striker Adjei Selasi shows strength and wins the ball against Kuffour in Kotoko territory but Osei Kofi comes to Kotoko rescue and clears the ball out of danger.
64th minute: Nii Adjei tries his first shot after replacing Emmanuel Adu Offei in the 55th minute but his thunderbolt goes over the post.
68th minute: Toure gives a deep penetrating pass to Richard Yeboah upfront and Yeboah collides with the goalkeeper. The medical staff quickly attends to the goalie and he recovers some few minutes later to continue the game. Richard Yeboah subsequently receives yellow card for that.
72nd minute: Roger Adongo in a two-man move with Adjei Selasi upfront. He places the ball beyond the reach of Amoako but he misses the post narrowly.
73rd minute: Kotoko catch Amidaus on a counter atttack. Nafiu Iddrisu gives a through pass to Nii Adjei but his connection lacks power to beat the goalkeeper.
76th minute: Kotoko start to rely on long range shots as Amidaus begin to defend. Toure drops deep and wins the ball. He gives a nice pass to Yaw Frimpong on the wings. The diminutive but fearless defender moves forward two steps and shoots but the goalkeeper punches the ball before Victor Ayiley clears it away.
79th minute: Selasi Adjei continues to torment the Kotoko defenders and win a corner kick but the ball is cleared away by Akuffu.
82nd minute: GOAL! Selasi Adjei finally hits the back of the net. He capitalizes on a misunderstanding between Osei Kofi and Isaac Amoako and seals the deal for Amidaus. Kotoko fans complain bitterly about the cheap goals given to Amidaus while the “friends of Amidaus” continue to jubilate.
85th minute: Kotoko go all out at this stage. Nafiu gets the ball but his pass wrongfully goes to Arthur Benjamin. The enterprising midfielder surges forward with pace and skill. Akuffu brings him down behind the 18 yard box and gets yellow card but the free kick causes no problem to Isaac Amoako.
89th minute: The referee adds three minutes onto the game and Kotoko keep searching for a consolation goal. Their effort proves futile as Richard Yeboah’s cross goes off target.
93rd minute: Kofi Koomson gets yellow card for unintentionally stamping on the foot of Gideon Baah. It is the last chance for Kotoko just outside the 18 yard box. Akuffu this time round curls the ball in but Toure’s header is saved to corner kick which is defended well by Amidaus.
Amidaus: Eric Ofori Antwi, Victor Ayirey, Patrick Ampah, Philip Ackah/Sani Musah, Issah Anal/Mathew Dugah, Arthur Benjamin, Derrick Appiah, Roger Adongo, Adjei Selasi/Eric Opata, Emmanuel Morgan, Kofi Koomson.
Unused bench: Akoto Danso, Joseph Quansah, Ablorh Jake, Ebenezer Mensah.
Kotoko: Isaac Amoako, Yaw Frimpong, Gideon Baah, John Kuffour, Osei Kofi, Mike Akuffu, Mike Anaba, David Offei/Nafiu Iddrisu, Fatawu Mohammed/Richard Yeboah, Adu Offei/Nii Adjei, Ahmed Toure.
Unused bench: Sabato Mohammed, Stephen Oduro, Eric Donkor, Felix Annan.
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