Asante Kotoko and Medeama Sporting Club, who fought intensely for the Glo Premier League, will meet once again on Sunday to compete for this year’s MTN FA Cup final at the Accra Sports Stadium.
It will be the last official match of the current season but for these teams, their efforts at clinching the other major title must be as fresh as ever despite the different strains of motivation.
For the Porcupine Warriors, it will be a very good chance to capture the league and cup double and close the season out in style and get things right after losing to Nania FC in the 2011 final.
For the Yellow and Mauves, it represents a match that could give them their first major honour in Ghanaian football and give a lot of justification for the resources they have pumped into the team in recent times.
Path to the final
Asante Kotoko began their campaign in the round of 64 with a 5-0 thumping of Japekrom and progressed to beat Agbozume Weavers 4-1 in the Round of 32.
Their run against lower-placed sides continued with 3-0 over Rainbow Stars in the Round of 16 but they were given a test when they faced former Premier League campaigners Eleven Wise in the quarter finals but they won 2-1 to move to the semi-finals.
They showed a more lethal side in defeating Amidaus Professionals 3-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium with Kofi Nti Boakye and Ransford Osei scoring to cancel an Amidaus lead provided by Yahya Mohammed.
Medeama also started their journey to the final in the Round of 64 and they beat Subri Royals 3-0 only to draw blank against Wa All Stars in regulation time in the next round. They stayed strong, though, in the penalty shootout to win 5-4.
They had to repeat the trick against fellow Premier League contenders, Berekum Chelsea, after drawing 1-1. This time, they were more dominant in the spot kicks as they won 3-1.
They met another Premier League side, Kpando Heart of Lions, in the quarter finals and won by two goals to zero.
They were given a major scare in the semi-finals in Kumasi against Accra Hearts of Oak when Robin Gnagne scored from the spot to give the Phobians the lead but two goals from Godfred Rockson gave Medeama passage to Sunday’s final.
Kotoko will fancy their chances especially after beating Medeama to the league title a few weeks ago. The Reds were stronger over the distance and as they were scraping the points, Medeama’s proverbial “legs” failed them in the final weeks of the season.
Kotoko’s 1-0 away win at Medeama in November 2012 and their 1-1 draw with Hearts of Oak in May proves their ability to grind out results in the most difficult of situations and that will be of help in a final where they will be a few things left for the taking.
However, the Tarkwa-based team has nothing to lose in Sunday’s match and they will draw inspiration from Nania FC. Their Executive Vice-President, Albert Commey, told the Weekend Globe that losing to Kotoko would not surprise anybody but a win for them would make the headlines and that is their motivation.
In addition, they have enough information on their opponents and the very rugged road they took to Sunday’s final should be a reminder of how far they are willing to go to make history.
By: Nathan Quao