We owe much gratitude to the fans – Anaba
Posted on: Tue May 29, 2012
Fast improving midfielder Michael Anaba has attributed Kotoko’s success in the Glo Premier League to the great support they received from all quarters particularly from the supporters.
Speaking to Kotoko Express after their 1-0 triumph over Tema Youth on Sunday at the Baba Yara Stadium where Kotoko were officially crowned by the GFA/PLB as 2011/12 Glo Premiership Champions, Anaba who was full of excitement to have won his first premiership title said until he joined the Porcupines this season, he never knew that Kotoko supporters were so generous.
He therefore deems it fit to dedicate the trophy to the fans because he believes they have played a vital role in this season’s glory.
“We have to dedicate the trophy to Kotoko supporters first before anybody because they have offered a great helping hand in the season” he stated.
Having fought doggedly from the 12th position to finish third in last season’s Glo Premier League won by Berekum Chelsea, the Porcupine Warriors promised to deliver the trophy this time round and they have truly fulfilled their promise. It was not an easy journey though as Kotoko had a difficult time dealing with their away matches in the first round but there has been light at the end of the tunnel.
When the GFA/PBL signaled for the commencement of the competition on October 9, 2011, Coach Maxwell Konadu and his boys trekked to the Harbour City and locked horns with new entrants Tema Youth. In the end both teams settled on a 1-1 draw but referee Vincent Otoo’s performance on the day left a lot to be desired about. He denied Kotoko a clear penalty after the Tema Youth goalie brought striker Ahmed Toure into the 18 yard box.
Not disturbed by their 1-1 draw in Tema, the fabulous boys returned home grittily like a wounded Lions and cut Ashgold (3-0), Bechem United (3-2) and Kpando Heart of Lions (2-0) to top the table. Unfortunately skipper Ohene Brenya and his colleagues dropped points in their fifth game against Berekum Arsenals as the Gunners held Kotoko to a 1-1 draw at the Golden City Park. It was Arsenals first home match in the season after serving a three-match home ban for putting up unsporting behaviour in the previous season.
Kotoko gathered their acts together and returned to the Baba Yara Stadium where they inflicted a painful 1-0 defeat on Mighty Jets in a midweek encounter. It was one of Kotoko’s toughest matches in the season. The Tudu based team managed to hold Kotoko for 93 minutes before Nafiu Iddrisu’s spectacular strike put them to sleep.
When the expectation was very high among Kotoko fans that Coach Maxwell Konadu and his boys would repeat the dose on Hearts of Oak, they ended up drawing goalless with the Phobians in match day seven at the Ohene Djan Stadium.
However, they raised the stakes in their next game and walloped new entrants Wassaman United 4-1 in Kumasi. It remained Kotoko’s highest score line in the season. As the fans were still jubilating over the massive victory, New Edubiase gave them a bitter pill to swallow. They piped Kotoko 1-0 at Bekwai. The lone goal was scored by in-form striker Emmanuel Baffoe. It was also Kotoko’s first defeat in the season.
Kotoko lived up to their motto “Kum Apem a Apem Beba” and made amends against Ebusua Dwarfs with a 1-0 victory in Kumasi to halt Dwarfs unbeaten run in the league. Kotoko repeated the same victory on Berekum Chelsea in their subsequent game at the same venue before suffering their second defeat in the season against All Stars in Wa. Kotoko lost that game 0-1.
Immediately after that fixtures the league went on almost three weeks break for the Christmas festivities. Kotoko returned on a poor note with a goalless draw against Aduana Stars in Kumasi but they fought back gamely and beat Liberty Professionals 2-1 in Accra. That win was Kotoko’s first victory outside the Baba Yara Stadium in the league. The team ended the first round with another 2-1 victory over Medeama SC in Kumasi.
The second phase of the league started on February 19, 2012 and Kotoko continued to prove their worth to all with an improved performance in their away games this time round. Unlike the first round where Kotoko shared honours with Tema Youth in their opening game, the team managed a 1-0 triumph over Medeama at the Essipong Stadium courtesy striker Ben Acheampong 46th minute header.
It continued with a 2-0 win over Liberty in Kumasi. During their 18th week encounter against Aduana Stars, Kotoko exhibited great perseverance at Dormaa and held their opponent to a goalless draw for the first time in three seasons.
That draw spurred Kotoko to beat Wa All Stars 2-0 in their next game in Kumasi. Following that victory, Kotoko travelled all the way to the Brong Ahafo region for the third time in the season and returned with a point after drawing goalless with Berekum Chelsea in midweek at the Golden City Park.
The team put up another impressive performance and thrashed Ebusua Dwarfs 2-0. The game took place at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium following the closure of the Robert Mensah Stadium due to violence by the Dwarfs supporters in their 0-1 lost to Aduana Stars in match day 18 but Kotoko showed Dwarfs no mercy.
Hopes that Kotoko would translate their sterling show against New Edubiase in Kumasi couldn’t materialize. New Edubiase came to draw first blood through Emmanuel Baffoe and it took enough effort and fighting spirit before Kotoko got a last minute equalizer through Richard Yeboah.
Afterwards, Kotoko vented their spleen on Wassaman in their next game by beating them 3-1 in Tarkwa and went ahead to beat Hearts of Oak 2-1. The manner Kotoko defeated Hearts in Kumasi was exceptional. As at the 94th minute, the score line was 1-1 with Kofi Nti Boakye and Mahatma Otoo scoring for each side. To the happiness of Kotoko fans however, Mike Akuffu superbly struck from a long range to give Kotoko a 2-1 victory a few seconds top the end of the game.
Kotoko gave their fans something good to cheer about in their next game against Mighty Jets in Accra which they won 2-0 before drawing goalless with Berekum Arsenals in the 26th week fixture to clinch their 21st league title in the history of Ghana football.
After securing the deal, Coach Maxwell Konadu decided to use many non regular players in the remaining games and it was no wonder Kotoko drew 0-0 with Heart of Lions at Kpando. They bounced back to beat Bechem United 4-3, lost 2-3 to Ashgold before wrapping up with a sweet 1-0 victory against Tema Youth on Coronation day in Kumasi last Sunday.
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