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Sports Features of Sunday, 24 December 2017


Kotoko vs Hearts: Will it be repeat or revenge?

The day is finally here. It’s Christmas eve, December 24, 2017. The Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi is the venue. Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak are the combatants. The ultimate prize at stake is the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary Cup. Who wins it?

Who will take that glittering trophy and the GH?50,000 cash prize? Will it be Hearts or Kotoko?

Hearts go into the much-awaited game with an impressive 3-1 win chalked in the first leg on May 1, 2017 at the Accra Sports Satdium. Coach Frank Nutall and his players are bent on protecting their lead for their first trophy this year 2017.

Kotoko have however been a transformed side, looking back at their FA Cup triumph over Hearts and of course, the pathetic show that was seen of them in May.

Coach Steven Polack told the media this week that, “Every Kotoko-Hearts match counts because there’s the bragging rights at stake. I believe the best team will win” he said. “That best team” he added, will be his team, Kotoko.

Kotoko lead striker, Saddick Adams, whose three goals in the Tamale FA Cup final stunned Hearts has promised another demolishing exercise. “We’ve already won two trophies against Heaarts this year. We want to make it three cups in succession. We know the game requires a lot but we’ve the men to deliver” said Saddick.

Hearts of Oak’s new striker, youngster, Silas Blessing Bakai downplayed any threat Kotoko will pose, calling their pre-match talk as mere hype. “We are not bothered about the recent defeat to Kotoko. We will face them squarely and silence them” he said.

So, who wins it? Hearts or Kotoko? It looks like Hearts. Kotoko have all the work to do not only to wipe the two-goal deficit but also ensure that they don’t concede.

It’s the fight which Kotoko will put up in that regard, and the resistance Hearts will show that will produce the thrills in this game. Each side can use three guest players. There will be straight penalty shoot-outs should there be a tie.

President Nana Akufo-Addo will be the Special Guest of Honour at the game.