Today in history: Kotoko win first league title in 10 years

On 7th December, 2003, Kumasi Asante Kotoko were crowned the Kinapharma Premier league champions after beating Real Tamale United (RTU) 2-0 on the last match in Kumasi.

It was the first time Kotoko had won the Premier league title since it was introduced in the 1993-94 season.

The atmosphere at the stadium was electrifying as the supporters who had thronged the stadium to its bursting point waited anxiously for the final whistle and the moment they had been waiting for.

Therefore, when Referee E.O.M. Osanquaye of Accra, whistled for the end of proceedings, the stadium erupted into Reverend Seth Frimpong’s hit song “Eye Ya Afe”, while waiving white handkerchiefs.

RTU gave an early indication of giving Kotoko a run for their money when in the 13th minute, J. Adjei who was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Kotoko defence, centred beautifully but Awudu headed wide.

Kotoko counter attacked with speedster Michael Osei leading the pack and in the 15th minute took on the RTU defence in a dribbling session but the defence managed to contain him.

A minute later, Charles Taylor sent the already charged Kotoko supporters cheering wildly when he connected home Shilla Alhassan’s pass to put his team in the lead.

Kotoko from then on, dominated play and in the 22nd minute earned a free kick outside the goal area of RTU but Charles Taylor wasted the resultant kick.

Then in the 27th minute, Michael Osei shot wide from close range and two minutes later again headed wide from Charles Taylor’s pass.

RTU pulled themselves up and earned a free kick in the 43rd minute outside the Kotoko goal area but wasted it.

On resumption, RTU redoubled their efforts and earned a free kick in the 47th minute but wasted it.

Kotoko in the 54th minute pulled out Shilla Alhassan for Frank Osei while RTU also brought in P. Abass for T. Alolo in the 56th minute and three minute later, had a good chance but J. Adjei shot wide.

The game from then on became a ding-dong affair until Kotoko pulled out Michael Osei for Kwadwo Poku who brought more bite into the Kotoko attack.

He justified his inclusion with a classic goal in the 77th minute from a Frank Osei cross from the right. Frank Osei rounded up a defender of RTU, turned sharply and centred beautifully for Kwadwo Poku to fire home the second goal.

From then on, Kotoko resorted to short passes and keeping the ball to themselves to the delight of their supporters until the shrill whistle of referee Osanquaye brought proceedings to an end.

The huge crowd spontaneously rose to their feet and waving their white handkerchiefs responded to the song “Eye Ya Afe” while dancing in the stands, waiting to catch a glimpse of the trophy to be handed over to their club.

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