The road to the 21st league title (Part II)
Posted on: Sat Jun 09, 2012
Week 16 – February 19, 2012: Medeama 0, Kotoko 1
Fresh from a two-week coaching programme at Sunderland, UK, Coach Maxwell Konadu led Kotoko to silence Medeama SC, beating them 1-0 at the Sekondi Sports Stadium, courtesy Ben Acheampong’s splendid header in the 45th minute. Acheampong’s goal was spectacular because with his diminutive stature, he jumped well above the tall Medeama defenders to powerfully head home a Daniel Nii Adjei’s perfectly taken corner kick. Kotoko could have however scored more goals having created numerous decent chances but wasted all.
Week 17 – February 26, 2012: Kotoko 2, Liberty 0
Two goals from Nii Adjei and Michael Mensah in the 59th and 88th minutes respectively aided Kotoko recorded a sweet double over the scientific soccer lads have beaten them 2-1 at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra in the first round. Regular goalkeeper, Soulama Abdoulaye missed the game because of a three-yellow card accumulation but Soulama’s absence had no negative effect on the team since substitute Isaac Amoako did a brilliant job in the post. The game was also Burkinabe Sacko Idrissa’s debut. He came on for Nii Adjei in the 68th minute.
Week 18 – February 29, 2012: Aduana Stars 0, Kotoko 0
This was a game that pundits tipped to go the way of Aduana Stars given their strength at home and considering how Kotoko have always struggled to maintain their composure at the Agyeman Badu Park. The home team fired on all cylinders but they could not overpower the Porcupines who played solidly in defence and midfield to contain the incessant pressure Aduana Stars piled on them. Kotoko’s attack made good efforts but were unlucky to get a goal. Some acts of intimidation and other unsporting tactics adopted by officials of Aduana Stars including their supporters who planted foreign materials like eggs on the field threatened to mar the game. The goalless result recorded by Kotoko was the team’s best result at Dormaa Ahenkro since they lost their first two matches there.
Week 19 – March 11, 2012: Kotoko 2, All Stars 0
Kotoko took a solid nine-point lead after this game in which Ben Acheampong who scored first in the 16th minute and Prince Baffoe, the second goal scorer in the 55th minute, were in fantastic form. Ben Acheampong received an excellent pass from Mike Akuffu and outwitted All Stars goalie, Robert Dabu before striking hard into the net. Thirty nine minutes later, Prince Baffoe capitalized on a goalkeeping error and shot home, sending the passionate Kotoko fans at the stadium into wild jubilation. This particular win marked the team’s third win in the second round and ninth at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in the league.
Week 20 – March 21, 2012: Chelsea 0, Kotoko 0
This was another tough game. Berekum Chelsea, the defending champions were in good form but whether they had the strength to beat the all- conquering Kotoko team remained the big question. Days ahead of the game, speculation was rife that supporters of Berekum Chelsea had planned reprisal attacks on Kotoko fans on grounds that their Accra Representative, Oduro Sarfo was allegedly assaulted by Administrative Manager, Ben Nti when they visited Kumasi on December 14, 2011. Adequate security measures were put in place. The match was played in a relatively calm atmosphere with the Porcupines holding Berekum Chelsea to a pulsating goalless draw.
Week 21 – March 25, 2012: Dwarfs 0, Kotoko 2
With Dwarfs banned at their Cape Coast venue because their fans assaulted match officials after in their game against Aduana, this game was initially scheduled for Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital. Kotoko supporters in the region as a result were elated because it was going to be the team’s third successive game in the region in less than two weeks. The Premier League Board, in less than 48 hours after their initial announcement, moved the game to Obuasi because that same week, Berekum Chelsea had a CAF Champions League qualifier at Berekum in the same region. In the end, Kotoko beat Dwarfs 2-0 at Obuasi with goals from Kofi Nti Boakye and Ben Acheampong in the 13th and 64th minutes respectively.
Week 22 – April 1, 2012: Kotoko 1, Edubiase 1
Coach Maxwell Konadu was not on the bench following a two-match suspension. Deputy Coach, Castro Sarfo and the fabulous lads had a difficult time, equalizing a 3rd minute goal scored by Edubiase hit-man, Emmanuel Baffoe. With most of the home fans filing out of the stadium in total disappointment, substitute Richard Yeboah hit the back of the net in the 93rd minute to save Kotoko the blushes. Richard Yeboah disclosed in a post-match interview that he saw the vital equaliser coming after a Michael Akuffu free kick. “I saw it coming. I felt I could get to the ball faster than the defenders. I was watching the movements of the Edubiase defenders and immediately the kick was taken, I moved fast to put the ball into the net” said the excited midfielder.
Week 23 – April 8, 2012: Wassaman 1, Kotoko 3
With Coach Maxwell Konadu still serving his two-match ban, Reserve Team Coach Henry Wellington joined Deputy Coach Castro Sarfo on the bench for this clash on Easter Sunday. Playing in front of an impressive crowd on a rain-soaked yet well-trimmed pitch, Kotoko recovered from a goal down to win 3-1. Wassaman opened the scoring in the 5th minute through Evans Nyarko but Amos Frimpong assisted Ben Acheampong to cancel that lead in the 32nd minute. A remarkable wing play nine minutes later, saw Kotoko scoring again through Michael Anaba with Richard Yeboah as the assist. Burkinabe Sacko Iddrisa made it 3-1 with 14 minutes to time.
Week 24 –April 15, 2012: Kotoko 2, Hearts 1
This was the game that saw Kotoko breaking a seven-year-old jinx of not beating Hearts in a Kumasi in the league. Kofi Nti Boakye opened the scoring for Kotoko after 36 minutes of intense action. He outsmarted his markers in the box to powerfully head home a corner kick, expertly taken by Michael Akuffu. Hearts’ Laryea Kingston was sent off for a brutal tackle on Abdul Baba Rahman but that was not the only drama in the action-filled game. The Phobians equalised in the 92nd minute through a powerful free kick by Mahatma Otoo sending their fans into wild jubilation. Their great joy was however cut short two minutes later as Michael Akuffu fired a long range bullet shot that sealed a 2-1 win for Kotoko. It was all joy in Kumasi that evening as the celebration went deep into the night.
Week 25 – April 22, 2012: Might Jets 0, Kotoko 2
It was a day of joy when Asante Kotoko beat Mighty Jets 2-0 in Accra not only because the ‘Vision 21’ dream was on track but also because left back, Gideon Baah, whose last Glo Premier League game was on March 14, 2010 against Hearts of Oak in Kumasi scored a goal to wrap a 2-0 win for the fabulous lads. Workaholic midfielder, Nii Adjei scored in the 35th minute before Gideon Baah provided the second with three minutes to time.
Week 26 – April 29, 2012: Kotoko 0, Berekum Arsenal 0
This match marked Kotoko’s third draw in the season. Coach Maxwell Konadu paraded most of the non-regular players with Eric Donkor, Emmanuel Adu Offei and Mustapha Mumuni all starting. Victory for Kotoko in this match would have seen Berekum Arsenal sinking deep into the relegation zone but the surprising 0-0 result bolstered the Gunners’ relegation survival fight. That result however left many Kotoko supporters unhappy because many had expected the Porcupines to deepen Arsenal’s relegation woes but that did not happen.
Week 27 – May 2, 2012: Heart of Lions 0, Kotoko 0
Coming into the game with a humiliating 0-3 defeat to Aduana Stars, Heart of Lions were determined to redeem their image at the Kpando Park. However, the Porcupine spirit was too strong for them. Goalkeeper Isaac Amoako proved to be a good substitute in the absence of Soulama Abdoulaye. The two teams fared well and Kotoko could have carried the day but for their sheer wastefulness in attack. Eventually the two teams settled for a goalless draw. Officiating on the day was impressive. Referee Charles Dowuona and his Assistants E. O. Ankrah and Michael Asare got most of their decisions right prompting the Volta Regional Circles Council Chairman, Efo Yao Ledi to commend them for their fine performance.
Week 28 – May 13, 2012: Kotoko 4, Bechem United 3
On the back of spurious allegations that Kotoko was playing compromise matches, many assumed that the team would play it soft against Bechem United who were faced with relegation. This match produced seven goals. Reginald Asante scored a hat-trick for Bechem United in the 5th, 57th and 71st minutes. Ahmed Toure secured a brace in the 12th and 55th minutes while Augustine Okrah and Nii Adjei scored the other goals for Kotoko in the 17th and 77th minutes respectively.
Week 29 – May 20, 2012: Ashantigold 3, Kotoko 2
Kotoko suffered their first defeat in the second round and their third in the competition at Len Clay Stadium when they engaged Ashantigold. By the 56th minute, Ashantigold were 3-0 up with goals coming from Yakubu Mohammed, Aaron Amoah and Nana Poku. The Porcupines however fought ferociously to cancel two of the goals through Ben Acheampong and Richard Yeboah to lose 2-3 to the miners. Kotoko fans chastised Referee William Agbovi and his Assistant One, David Agyin for some controversial decisions. Although the team lost, the fans in a rare show of support besieged the team bus to express their appreciation to the team.
Week 30 – May 27, 2012: Kotoko 1, Tema Youth 0
Coming as the last game of the season and also with Kumasi Asante Kotoko winning the competition, this game served as the coronation match. Tema Youth came well prepared and held the Porcupine Warriors tightly throughout the first half. Richard Yeboah however broke the deadlock in the 57th minute sneaking through the tight Tema Youth defence to powerfully head home an excellent Kofi Nti Boakye cross from the left side of attack. Richard Yeboah’s goal threw the entire stadium into wild jubilation and the joyous celebration went deep into the evening as Kotoko was handed their 21st league title since the league started in 1958..
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- 2013-05-22 17:12:37 - Kotoko rejects ‘Friends of Zambia’
- 2013-05-21 05:42:36 - Hearts, Kotoko oldies play on Sunday
- 2013-05-21 05:38:10 - Reserves team will keep winning – Zito
- 2013-05-21 05:19:31 - Soulama worried over string of draws
- 2013-05-20 08:13:35 - Kotoko-Aduana Stars match report
- 2013-05-20 08:10:38 - Fans fume at bad officiating in Sunyani
- 2013-05-19 13:52:50 - Kotoko drops to second position
- 2013-05-18 06:49:51 - Security at league centres to be reinforced
- 2013-05-18 02:06:23 - Kotoko to shake Sunyani tomorrow