Accra Hearts of Oak came into the final of the MTN FA Cup against their sworn rivals, Asante Kotoko as the bookmakers’ favorites taking into cognizance their footballing display towards the end of the league season coupled with the footballing talents available in their ranks..
The Tamale Sports Stadium will be the centre of attraction this weekend when local football giants, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak lock horns in what promises to be an exciting FA Cup final game.
Asante Kotoko had to rely on an 84th minute penalty converted by striker Saddick Adams to prevent Ashanti Gold from carrying all three points from the Baba Yara Stadium on Thursday.
Athletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey was the tormentor-In-Chief as the Black Stars of Ghana recorded an impressive win away from home against Congo in their Group E World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
A late Amos Frimpong penalty kick earned Asante Kotoko a place in the last four of the MTN FA Cup against either Wa All Stars, Hearts of Oak or Medeama.
The two giants of Ghana football lock horns in their final meeting of the 2016/17 season at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday 6th August 2017.
Asante Kotoko will take on rivals Hearts Of Oak on Sunday in their rescheduled Week 23 Premier league game and GHPL pundits give what they think will be the likely outcome of the game at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
FENTUO TAHIRU –ULTIMATE FM (SPORTS DESK) KUMASI
Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak games have lost a bit of steam in the last few years fortunately or unfortunately, this whole accident issue is brought a bit of interest to this game. Kotoko couldn’t have looked for a better opponent to welcome them back into action than a game against their bitterest rival Accra Hearts of Oak.
A win will be absolutely massive for the confidence of the team going into the last few games of the season, a loss for them will further dampen the spirit for sure. A lot of their fans will be trooping into the stadium on Sunday to cheer the boys on.
It would be an absolutely fun filled stadium on Sunday. As far as the football itself is concerned, Kotoko will be happy to welcome back the five players from the national team, they were in a bit of a roll before the accident, they look very strong, very convincing under the control of Coach Steve Pollack. Hearts have Winful Cobbinah in midfield, Thomas Abbey is in fantastic form so we should witness an amazing game of football but if am to predict, I think that it would end in a draw.
MUFTAWU NABILA -KWESE FREE SPORTS-ACCRA
Games involving Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak have always been taken to a different level. Thousands of spectators will be expecting Accra Hearts of Oak to jump to victory but the thing is that, psychologically hearts will feel they have the edge but Asante Kotoko having recovered from the tragic accident they encountered on July 12, would play the devil’s advocate by saying that they are not on top of the game but on the pitch, Kotoko would be a beast, they would be like an animal hearts of oak will struggle to break down.
I personally feel Asante Kotoko would be stronger than Hearts of Oak and I do feel that this game, the best for hearts of oak will be a draw.
FESTUS NII BANNOR SACKEY (CLASS FM) ACCRA
It’s the big game, finally, it's happening after Kotoko's unfortunate incident that happened on July 12 after honouring a league game against Inter Allies but I think we are in for a spectacle. I solicited some views plus my knowledge in relation to the teams' readiness, I must concede that Kotoko are ready, they got involved in a friendly game against Nacosta FC a lower tier side but I must say it was a worthy course for a side that had part of the team involved in an accident.
We’re expecting nothing but the best from both sides but I think Hearts, going into the game nevertheless no one can tell us anything contrary to it as the favourite team in this particular game. They start as favourite, they’ve been involved in matches while Kotoko was absent, they’ve been active, on form and the results have been good for the side.
In form, Thomas Abbey is banging in the goals and has been awarded the player of the month. Winful Cobbinnah has been out of the team a couple of time due to national duties but he is back and you know how influential he is for the team but Kotoko nevertheless have quite a number of the team who were not involved in the accident.
Michael Akuffo, Felix Annan, Jackson Owusu were all not on the bus but you can’t say they were not affected because the bond between the entire team and the late equipment officer goes beyond boundaries so that will have an effect on them. With what the fans are planning to do with a banner, I think we should be in for a spectacle.as to who will win this game, I must say it’s going to be difficult to predict. Hearts might start as clear favourites, I must give them a 2-1 win in this regard even though I won’t be surprised if it goes the other way round.
ABIGAIL SENA SOSU –ASEMPA FM (SPORTS DESK) ACCRA
Kumasi Asante Kotoko playing hearts of oak on any day is a big game no doubt about that when it comes to the big guns in Ghana football so you get the fans making noise about that. The two clubs have been in a league of their own having met three times with hearts dominating. It’s a big deal for Kotoko to pull parity with their arch rivals. Looking at the trauma they’ve been through, it will be a game of nostalgia, emotions, skills and a little in the dark if you ask me.
They will try to win for that life that was lost and their colleagues that have been through some injuries and even their coach who might be on the bench with broken legs. They have the reason and quality to play for. The game will be characterized by some good skills, the desperations of each side wanting to win at all cost. Hearts might have something that Kotoko is yet to see in midfield, Winful Cobinnah did not play in the first round, he was on the bench and Kotoko is yet to see Cobbinnah.
He is going to be the difference for hearts of oak. Kotoko have to be on the watch for Cobbinah and Abbey. It’s going to be an interesting game. Whoever will win would do so in the heart of midfield. Kotoko might have that trump card playing at home, they’re a little bit above Hearts with the experience of Saddick Adams, Baba Mahama etc. if am pushed to predict, it would be skilled over emotions, a close call and a 2-1 win for Accra hearts of oak.
ADAMS ADJEI AGOO TV /KASAPA FM (SPORTS DESK) ACCRA
I think it’s going to be a good game thankfully the two sides are ready and am sure when the league fixtures are drawn, I always keep on saying it’s one of the fixtures that most of the followers of the Ghana premier league look up to and anytime the two sides meet, you know the euphoria and everything about the game is big.
It’s unfortunate that the July 12 accident sort of took something out of the game when it should have happened but thankfully the medical team of the club from the press conference that they had on Tuesday told us that they’ve cleared a lot of the players who will feature on Sunday. Am sure from the two camps they are all ready, none is coming into the game with any excuse and the fans will be there in their numbers.
I think it's one aspect of our game which is lacking and am sure the accident though unfortunate may be the x factor to pull a lot of supporters to the stadium on Sunday. I just want to see good football, an opportunity to market our game, I expect the two side to put on their A game and hopefully that would pull lots of investors into our game. Hopefully, the better team will win but a draw is most likely to happen.
MATILDA DZIFA DIMEDO FIRST DIGITAL TV (SPORTS DESK)ACCRA
The panache, the finesse, the flamboyance and flair, unfortunately, will be missing in this encounter because of the accident that engulfed the Kotoko team some few days back. Accra Hearts of Oak are currently the best team in the Ghana Premier league in terms of team telepathy, individual brilliance and have shown class in the second round of Ghana premier league.
It has been reported that only fourteen players might be presented by the team on Sunday while hearts of oak has the full complement of their squad and this development for me will mar the beautiful game to an extent but that notwithstanding, am still anticipating a full house in terms of support from both clubs with fans of Kotoko already out with the banner project to welcome the team back to the field.
Am expecting Winful Cobbinnah, Thomas Abbey, Vincent Atingah, Amos Frimpong, Saddick Adams and Emmanuel Gyamfi to dazzle us with some scintillating display on the field and may the better side triumph.
ADAMU SEIDU TOTALGHANASPORTS.COM/FIRST NEWS NETWORK- ACCRA
The clash which I have christened " The Ghana Classic" will be one of the exciting games to watch as soccer fans will have the opportunity to see Asante Kotoko for the first time on the field after the unfortunate Accident, much of the game has already been played with the off the field comments from fans, and administrators.
I see a very tight game in which the results will be too close to call contrary to the many predictions out there, I have a strong believe the game is more technical than fanatic, very difficult to analyze how Kotoko will appear, but it's obvious to Hearts of Oak will come with a strong back 5 with Richard Akrofi Playing from the left.
I see a very close score line in this game I predict 0-0
AWAL MOHAMMED BOSS FM, (SPORTS DESK) KUMASI
Am expecting the game to be a big game no matter the situation of Kotoko or hearts, games between the two are always cagey encounter but for now hearts of oak will go into the game very stronger, fitter than their opponent considering what happened to Kotoko and the state they are in now, after the accident, they have not been training consistently like hearts of oak they only a game against a second tier side Nacosta FC as compared to hearts of oak who has played several league games.
Matches between the two will be very difficult, Hearts have a very consistent team looking at the partnership in attack, midfield and defence Thomas Abbey, Patrick Razak, Winful Cobbinah and Leonard Tawiah giving their defence a good shield with Kwame Kizito leading the attack. They will be stronger with the wings play but Kotoko's strength will be in the holding midfield with the partnership of Owusu Jackson and Emmanuel Gyamfi.
In defence, Kotoko have conceded fewer goals than Hearts and that will tighten up the game. If hearts of oak should come into the games bearing in mind the situation of Kotoko, they will be surprised but I tip Hearts of Oak slightly ahead of Kotoko.
ABDUL JALILU-AHMED, FIRST NEWS NETWORK (SPORTS DESK) ACCRA
Prior to Kotoko's incident, the team was on cloud nine. The mishap is not anticipated to demoralize the winning mentality of the red family; meanwhile, the oldest club in Ghana, Accra Hearts of Oak continues to win back the trust of their supporter’s courtesy their winning form. Whereas Kotoko supporters would count on Saddick Adams, Yakubu Mohammed, Obed Owusu to mastermind a victory, Thomas abbey and Winful Cobbinah face a hefty task of breaching the opponent’s defence.
The rivalry and bragging rights would obviously trigger unforgettable display from the two most glamorous clubs in Ghana. The team that stages a heroic performance on Sunday is guaranteed the points!
Coach Steven Polack and Medical Officer Dr Muchael Leat have confirmed that the Ghana Premier League Week 21 outstanding game against rivals Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday, August 3rd will come on as scheduled.
For failing to obey the enforcement decision of the Discipinary Committee (DC) on the Dauda Mohammed transfer, the DC has directed that Asante Kotoko be deducted points for matches to be played with immediate effect.
The Premier League Board after their meeting on Tuesday have agreed to postpone the Premier League match day 24 fixture between WAFA SC and Asante Kotoko in Sogakope.
Despite all the thrills and shocks served up by the likes of Danbort and Nea Salamina, five Premier League clubs are left in the competition.