Soccer News of Saturday, 3 September 2016
The skipper of Okwawu United, Prince Siaw, says his side has not come this far in this year’s MTN FA Cup only to watch Bechem United snatch the coveted trophy from them in tomorrow’s final at the new Cape Coast Stadium.
For him, defeating Bechem United and earning the singular honour as the captain of the squad to lift the giant silverware in the full glare of the thousands of spectators who will throng the stadium tomorrow is as important as qualifying to the top flight league.
Siaw, who sounded confident on telephone yesterday, said “mentally we’ve been made to understand that this is a golden opportunity and we cannot afford to miss it for anything in the world. We worked so hard to reach this stage and personally, I will give just anything to live this dream as captain of the team tomorrow”.
In a similar vein, his head coach, Ibrahim Merigah, in an earlier interview with the Daily Graphic had promised to go all out, even to the extent of making spiritual sacrifices to deliver the ultimate to the people of Kwahu tomorrow.
Coach Merigah, who is yearning to make history as the winner of the competition both as a coach and player (in 1986) will line up unsung players such as Abass Mohammed, Aikins Baffour, Richard Appiah, Alex Asante, Tetteh Commey, Prince Siaw, Ernest Asare, Prince Bobby, Isaac Kwarteng, Maclean Ampadu, Akoto Danso and Daniel Ocran, among others, to tame their opponents.
Indeed, Okwawu appear hungry for success in tomorrow’s crunchy duel, having boosted their bench with veteran coach Annor Walker who steered Nania FC to the MTN FA Cup title in 2011.
Walker’s inclusion clearly indicates the seriousness of the Asase Aban boys to win their third FA Cup title after 1986 and 1994, making them the favourites to upset the Premier League side. Added to their motivation is a GH¢6,000 per player winning bonus promised by the club’s bankroller, Brian Acheampong.
That notwithstanding, Bechem United have also vowed to return home with the enviable trophy as club owner, Kingsley Owusu Achau, has also promised his players GH¢5,000 bonus each and a trip abroad should they win tomorrow.
Head coach Manuel Zacharias insists his side is ready for any plot by the Soccer Mountaineers. According to him, nothing can stand between him and his target of finishing in an appreciable position on the league table this year as well as winning the MTN?FA Cup title.
To help accomplish his aim tomorrow, Coach Zacharias has named a 21-man squad, including hitman Abednego Tetteh, who received a late call-up to the Black Stars camp last Wednesday and is expected to join the team after the Stars-Rwanda game this afternoon.
Young goalkeeper Prince Asempa, strikers Yao Abotsi and Afriyie Francis; defenders Alfred Nelson, Akwasi Acheampong, Asante Agyeman, Eric Owusu and midfielders Issah Adamu, Mensah Solomon, Yaw Ackah, Emmanuel Lartey, Ahmed Yusif and Osei Bonsu.
Okwawu defeated Asokwa Deportivo in the Round of 16, beat Wa All Stars 1-0 in their quarter final derby before handling Liberty Professionals a shocking 3-2 defeat in a penalty shootout.
For their part, Bechem reached this stage after victories over Paga Japan Stars,Sunyani Liberty, RTU, knocked out last year’s finalists Asante Kotoko through penalty shoot outs in the quarter finals and added Wa Rockets to their list of victims after hammering them 2-0 in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the grand final of the National Women’s League between Ampem Darkoa Ladies and Hasaacas Ladies will be the curtain-raiser at 2:30 p.m, while the MTN FA Cup final kicks off at 6:30 pm.
Bechem United squad
Asempa Prince Osei Lawrence Sebe Bernard
Alfred Nelson Akwasi Acheampong Asante Agyeman Eric Owusu Richard Boateng Cole Patrick
Issah Adamu Mensah Solomon Yaw Ackah Emmanuel Lartey Ahmed Yusif Yaw Arnol Hamza Mohammed Osei Bonsu Hans Kowfie
FORWARD Abednego Tetteh Yao Abotsi Afriyie Francis
Okwawu United squad Abass Mohammed Aikins Baffour Richard Appiah Alex Asante Tetteh Commey Prince Siaw Ernest Asare Isaac Kwarteng Maclean Ampadu Prince Bobby Akoto Danso Daniel Ocran Mohammed Suleman Toffic Seidu Flavio Kongoza Kwame Frimpong Jacob Sarfo Anim Emmanuel Goza