Maxwell declares; Kotoko is ready for any opponent
Posted on: Mon Jan 23, 2012
After leading Kotoko to humiliate division two side, Sawla Tuna Kalba Stars (S.T.K Stars) 4-0 last Sunday at the Baba Yara Stadium, Coach Maxwell Konadu says his side is ready for any opponent at the round of 32 in the ongoing MTN FA Cup.
“We don’t know our next opponent for now but I can assure the supporters that Kotoko is ready for any side” he told the Kotoko Express after the game.
Despite the massive victory, Maxwell was still not enthused with the manner Takoradi based class one referee Stone Wosey continued to turn a blind eye to some clear penalties that should have been awarded to Kotoko. He urged Ghanaian referees to be bold always in order to get fair results in every game.
“The referee prevented us from scoring many goals. There were many incidents which he should have awarded us a penalty but he ignored them. I don’t know whether it was because he gave us one in the first half” Maxwell inquired.
The Porcupine Warriors last Sunday made their intention clear that they are ready to fight back for the trophy they lost to Nania FC last season with good display of soccer artistry against S.T.K Stars.
Unlike Kotoko who were drawn by, the Sawla based team which was formed on 31st March 2011and placed 3rd out of 45 division two teams in the northern region last season. They eliminated Kpwalugu United at the preliminary stage after beating them 1-0 at the Bolga Park.
They came strongly to make the entire Sawla community proud once again but their effort was thwarted by the fabulous boys. Their exit simply means that all the seven representatives of the northern region in this MTN FA Cup have been dropped from the competition. They include RTU, Liberty Babies, Guan United, FC Utrecht, Dynamos FC all from Tamale as well as Jakpa Warriors from Salaga.
Wearing their red dominated jersey with white markings against Sawla’s yellow dominated jersey with blue markings, Kotoko dominated play right from the onset till the final whistle. The weather was cold on the day as a result of the heavy downpour in Kumasi on Saturday.
But quiet unusual, attendance was very poor at the Baba Yara Stadium. Most of the few supporters and media who thronged the stadium attributed the low attendance to probably the ongoing African Cup of Nations likewise the top Barclays Premiership matches which took place on the day between Manchester City and Totteham as well as Arsenal and Manchester United.
On the game itself Coach Maxwell Konadu used virtually the same side that defeated Liberty Professionals and Medeama in Kotoko’s last two league matches. It was only first choice goalie Soulama Abdoulaye, Yaw Frimpong and striker Nathaniel Asamoah who missed the game. Their places were taken by Felix Annan, Amos Frimpong and Michael Mensah respectively.
Kotoko made many incursions in the game and could have buried their opponent under an avalanche of goals in the first half had Kofi Nti Boakye and Richard Yeboah especially took the chances that came their way. Sawla Stars on the other hand were well organized and strong in the defence and midfield but lacked finishing power and experience upfront.
Below is the minute by minute account of the game. 1st minute: Match kicks off at exactly 3pm. Sawla Stars start game and surge forward but a shot from skipper Robert Dawuna goes off target to give Kotoko the first goal kick. A kick in by Ohene Brenya neatly reached Kofi Nti Boakye who quickly gives a pass to Richard Yeboah but his shot goes over the post.
3rd minute: Kotoko waste another glorious chance again. Mike Akuffu initiates attack from midfield and gives a long pass to Michael Anaba in the 18 yard box but he misses the post once again. 8th minute: John Kuffour pushes right winger Suleman Ali to give Sawla Stars the first free kick just behind the Kotoko goal area. Abdul Razak takes it but his powerful shot goes over the cross bar. John Kuffour kicks the ball in and Richard Yeboah wins the aerial challenge. He gives a through pass to left winger Eric Donkor but he wastes time and subsequently loses the ball in the 18 yard box.
15th minute: Striker Kofi Nti Boakye moves forward with full force and collides with defender Charles Yeltuo. He takes outside the field to receive treatment by the Kotoko medical team. He comes back after some few minutes.
23rd: Kofi Nti Boakye shows great pace to win the ball against Hari Yakubu. He shoots into the net but referee Stone Wosey surprisingly rules it offside.
26th minute: Mike Akuffu outwits two opponents at a time to a loud applause from the fans but Yakubu Yussif Umar brings him down in the center of the field to attract the first yellow card. Mike Akuffu fires a terrific shot himself but goalkeeper Yakubu Abdul Razak dives to save it.
35th minute: Mumuni Mohammed also receives another caution from the referee. He pushes Kofi Nti Boakye down in a tussle for the ball at the right side of the Sawla’s defence. Eric Donkor takes the kick award to Kotoko but it yields no positive results for his side.
43rd minutes: Michael Mensah pushes down in Sawla’s 18 yard box and the referee rightly awards Kotoko a penalty kick. Mike Akuffu places it beyond the reach of goalkeeper Yakubu Abdul Razak to put Kotoko into the lead. The goal sends the few Kotoko supporters at the stadium into wild jubilation. Nii Adjei comes in to replace Eric Donkor immediately after the goal and his presence adds value to the Kotoko midfield.
48th minute: Sawla makes first attempts on goal after recess but Nuhu Majeed’s shot goes off target.
63rd minute: Left back Abdul Baba Rahman wins the ball in the midfield and takes on three opponents with full strength and pace. He delivers a perfect cross from the left flank and substitute Nii Adjei connects home to put Kotoko into a 2-0 lead. The goal comes after Sabato Mohammed replaces Kofi Nti Boakye.
68th minute: Skipper Hari Yakubu nearly gets a consolation goal for Sawla Stars. He shows strength to win the ball against John Kuffour and tries a long range shot which misses the post narrowly. 71st minute: Michael Anaba adds the Kotoko goal tally to three. He gets a pass from Richard Yeboah in Sawla’s territory and neatly places it at the right side of the post.
86th minute: Coach Maxwell Konadu replaces Richard Yeboah with Frank Boateng. Franks brings vitality into the game.He wins an aerial challenge in the midfield and gives a tailor measured pass to Nii Adjei just outside Sawla’s 18 yard box. Adjei fires a thunderbolt but goalkeeper Razak saves it to corner kick. Akuffu takes it but goalie Razak soars high to save the ball.
93rd minute: The three minutes time added on is almost exhausted. Sabato gets the ball at the right wing. He gives a pass to Amos Frimpong and he dribbles two opponent and pass the ball to Baba Rahman to seal the deal for Kotoko. It is now 4-0 in favour of the Porcupine Warriors.
Kotoko line up: Felix Annan, Ohene Brenya, Abdul Rahman, Amos Frimpong, John Kuffour, Michael Akuffu, Richard Yeboah/Frank Boateng, Michael Mensah, Kofi Nti Boakye/Sabato Mohammed, Eric Donkor/Nii Adjei.
Unused substitutes: Osei Kofi, Alhassan Bukari, Yaw Frimpong, Isaac Amoako. Sawla Stars: Yakubu Abdul Razak, Robert Dawuni, Charles Yeltuo, Mumuni Mahama/Yusif Ganeem, Hari Yakuku, Yaw Kippo, Dauda Abdul Kadir, Suleman Ali, Abdul Razak/Abu Issah Bari, Nuhu Majeed, Yakubu Yussif/Ali Nurideen.
Unused substitutes: Iddrisu Ampadu, Fuseni Iddrisu, Tampouri Seidu, Abdulai Iddrisu.
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