Soccer News of Friday, 26 June 2015
Agitation by fans of Kumasi Asante Kotoko over the team’s flagging fortunes lately appears to have forced Coach David Duncan to sit up as the defending First Capital Plus Premier League champions search for an elusive victory at the Baba Yara Stadium in the second round of the season as they host Bechem United on Sunday.
Kotoko’s uninspiring form lately has been a major source of concern among club faithful, especially after they were hammered by Liberty Professionals last Sunday, as the Porcupine Warriors flattered to deceive just days after defeating Accra Great Olympics at the Accra stadium.
For Coach Duncan, who joined the club amidst high hopes of transforming the champion club, their recent losses have served as a reality check for him to restrategise if they are to mount any serious challenge for honours this season.
Perhaps it was last Sunday’s wake-up call at Dansoman that inspired Kotoko to bounce back and defeat AshantiGold 2-0 on Wednesday to progress to the quarter-final of the MTN?FA Cup competition.
However, playing a rejuvenated side such as Bechem United is another test case for Duncan as the visiting side have woken up from their slumber in the first round and have gradually warmed themselves into the competition and with their in-form striker, Noah Martey, who has rediscovered his scoring boots and looks a real threat to Kotoko even in their own backyard.
Coach Duncan can breathe easy after last Wednesday win but on Sunday he must devise an antidote to strip prolific Martey of the terror which has seen him score eight goals this season, as the Bechem lads could be hoping to capitalise on Kotoko’s inconsistent form despite the visitors’ poor away record. They have lost eight out of nine away matches.
Kotoko are not out of the woods yet as they lie in ninth place just behind Bechem who are enjoying a better run of form.
But in Kumasi the odds favour Duncan’s side and he would need another inspiring performance by players such as Ahmed Toure, Michael Akuffo and Jackson Owusu to turn their flagging campaign around.
At the Sunyani Coronation Park, another sleeping giant, Accra Hearts of Oak, will embark on an ambitious task of beating tottering BA United on the back of inconsistent form by Herbert Addo’s side on the back of two consecutive draws, while in-form Liberty Professionals take on struggling Accra Great Olympics in a local derby at the Accra Stadium.
New Edubiase United will welcome Medeama SC to the Len Clay Stadium, while Heart of Lions who are serving some home match ban will entertain Berekum Chelsea outside their favourite Kpando Park.
Aduana Stars will welcome third-placed WAFA to the Agyemang Badu Park at Dormaa-Ahenkro, while Sekondi Hasaacas will have a difficult task of cutting defending champions AshantiGold’s lead when they clash at the Sekondi Stadium at Essipong.
At the Tema Stadium second-placed Wa All Stars play 12th-placed Inter Allies.