Soccer News of Saturday, 7 June 2014
Inter Allies will seek to draw inspiration from an emerging trend in the MTN?FA Cup, which seems to favour less fancied by denying Kumasi Asante Kotoko glory in tomorrow’s FA Cup final at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Since its revival four years ago, the FA Cup final has turned into a playground for underdogs and Tema-based Inter Allies hope tradition will favour them to deny the Porcupine Warriors a league and cup double.
After clinching the First Capital Plus Premier League title last week, Kotoko would wish to seal their fine season with the FA Cup, which has eluded them on two previous occasions when they lost to underdogs.
Past experiences have taught the Porcupine Warriors useful lessons in complacency which had been their bane, losing the trophy to second-tier side Nania FC and Medeama SC in their last two final matches.
From that experience, the ‘Kum Apem, Apem Beba’ lads are expected to approach tomorrow’s clash with cautious optimism and respect for their opponents even in their determination to be third time lucky in the FA Cup final since 2011. Both sides have their eyes on the giant trophy, the GH¢30,000 cash prize at stake and a ticket to participate in the CAF Confederation Cup.
But as league champions, Kotoko will participate in the more prestigious Champions League with a performance that would atone for their 0-2 loss to Aduana Stars in the last round of league matches last Sunday.
While Kotoko go into battle without their head trainer, Mas-Ud Didi Dramani, who is on national duty scouting for the Black Stars, stand-in coach Michael Osei will still have the services of all the key actors whose efforts delivered their third straight league title. Players such as Abeiku Ainooson, Kwabena Adusei, Richard Mpong, Seidu Bancey, who are all in fine form, will be under pressure from the Kotoko faithful to ensure the trophy does not elude them for the third time.
But standing in the way of Kotoko’s ambition is Herbert Addo, a former coach of the club who has not only helped steer Inter Allies from the threat of relegation, but also taken them to the brink of their first major title during their debut season in the elite division. The veteran coach know every trick in the book and will fancy denying his former side their FA Cup title as he plots a personal glory and the greatest achievement by Inter Allies since their qualification last year for the elite league.
In Baba Mensah, Salifu Abdul Fatawu, Diawudeen Seidu, Karim Sadat and Niare Benogo, Coach Addo has a strong team that can pull the brakes on Kotoko just as they did in their 26th week league fixture at Tema.