Sports News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Three former Asante Kotoko stars will be relishing the opportunity to make their return to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Wednesday when the Porcupine Warriors host FA Cup holders Bechem United in matchday three of 2017 Ghana Premier League.
Defender Akwasi Acheampong ended his six-season association with Kotoko to join Bechem last season and was followed by Amed ‘Simba’ Toure, who after becoming the poster boy, left for a new challenge while Emmanuel Osei Carlos joined on loan a few days ago.
Acheampong, unlike Toure, is not expected to get a taste of hostilities from the home fans due to the peaceful manner he left their camp but, the latter must be mentally stable or else he may react awkwardly and take an early shower as a result just like he did in the Ghalca G6 semi-finals defeat last November.
Bechem have two outstanding league games and are coming into the fixture on the back of disappointment, having been eliminated from the Caf Confederations Cup preliminary round on 5-3 aggregate by Algerian side MC Alger.
However, their hosts have picked four points out of six in their opening two games and are currently sitting second on the log behind Aduana Stars. They wouldn’t want to drop points since their next game is against regional rivals Ashanti Gold.
Kotoko coach Zdravko Lugarusic, though, is likely to continue to integrate his players into his 3-5-2 formation against Annese’s men, Toure is unfazed but says he won’t celebrate if he scores.
”It is our plan to be the first club to defeat Kotoko this season. We are awed of their threat and I know how the fans can make life unbearable for us, especially when they score first,” Toure told Goal.
“But from the training that I’ve witnessed, our defenders will be resolute. I want to find the back of the net but I won’t jubilate if it happens on Wednesday.”
Bechem United have lost only one of their last seven league matches, however, they need to double their efforts since Kotoko have lost only once in their last ten games and are unbeaten in their last eleven home games including seven victories.
Kotoko captain Amos Frimpong and centre-back Evans Quao have not commenced training following their injuries. Winger Frank Sarfo Gyamfi and striker Obed Owusu are still out of action for at least one more week but Bechem have no major injury concerns.