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Sports Features of Monday, 7 August 2017

Source: Saani Abacha

Five lessons learnt from Ghana's El-Classico

A historic 90 minutes inside the Baba Yara Sports Stadium saw Kumasi Asante Kotoko coming back from behind to snatch a point at home to Accra Hearts Of Oak in a 1-1 thriller.

Fans and management board alike might look into the dropped points in the thriller but the lessons learnt from this historic match supersede the contested points at stake.

From the patronage to the individual brilliance of Winful Kweku Cobbinah, here are some lessons learnt from the ‘Ghlassico’.

1. The Ghanaian passion can be reignited with the right approach. The historical nature of the match played a key role in the turnout, but a record breaking attendance in the season meant that we can refill our match venues with the right approach and publicity.

From the Mosaic to the banner, the presence of the fans spiced the game as seen in the second half onslaught from both sides. The numbers at the stadium hinted that the love for the Ghana Premier League can be rejuvenated with the requisite knowledge and publicity. Question is, how do we record such numbers in subsequent matches.

2. Ahmed Adams deserves national call ups.

The current crop of players at the local Black Stars definitely remain formidable going into the CHAN qualifier and WAFU championship but the performance of Ahmed Adams makes it dicey for the technical team to overlook him.

The Kumasi Asante Kotoko centre back did not only boss the back four in the course of the game, he launched several attacks for the Reds and must be given a second look.

The Reds centre back marshalled the defense for his inspired side to keep the lovely Thormas Abbey and Kwame Kizito at bay. A combination with any centre back at the home base Black Stars will be watertight at the very least.

3. Winful Kweku Cobbinah deserves every single media hype offered him.

The Accra Hearts Of Oak attacking midfield jewel illuminated the Baba Yara Stadium and duly orchestrated the opening goal with a no look pass to Fatawu Mohammed.

The ball passing attacker outshone his skipper in Thomas Abbey and could have easily won the MVP on another day. The trickery Hearts Of Oak attacker lived up to his billing as a contender for player of the season with some refined passing skills all game long.

4. The Ghana Premier League is better than what is painted out there.

The quality of football played by both sides painted a completely wrong picture with some intricate play exhibited on the pitch. The high-grade football exhibited on the day painted a contrary picture to the image reported by some media houses.

If 10 of the 16 teams can play like what was witnessed earlier today, then the journey back to continental glory will not be far away. A collective responsibility on the pitch was galvanised technical and tactical awareness from both teams , on a day when tempers fled in the build up to the game. Some positive reportage on the league will surely help matters in the near future.

5. Kumasi Asante Kotoko showed mental Toughness after their tragic accident.

The Reds came to the party with the mindset of opening a new chapter in life after their tragic accident. As their first competitive match since that fatal accident which took away the life of their equipment officer, the playing body of Kumasi Asante Kotoko barely showed any signs of bereaved club all game long.

The record premier league winners fought from blast to blast and duly hinted at a new chapter in their glamorous history. From the defiant manger in Steve Pollack to the lively Baba Mahama, the entire Kumasi Asante Kotoko team barely showed any sign of mental fragility.

With a trip to Sogakope next in the offing, Kumasi Asante Kotoko certainly deserve commendation for their mental fortitude in this trying time.