Sports News of Saturday, 23 December 2017
Kotoko coach Steven Polack says his team is well prepared and ready to avenge the 1-3 defeat they suffered at the hands of Accra Hearts of Oak in the first leg of the [email protected] anniversary match when the two sides clash in the reverse fixture in Kumasi on Sunday.
He told the Graphic Sports yesterday via a telephone conversation just before the team’s training that they were prepared and ready for the encounter with their arch-rivals and had revenge on their minds.
A disagreement over a number of guests players both sides were eligible to field on Sunday may have raised the tension ahead of the big clash, but Coach Polack’s response to the issue yesterday may just have led to a conclusion that was a mere pre-match hype.
The Briton disclosed that all his players were fit and ready to put up their best against Hearts.
Both teams carry vengeance of their own into Sunday’s game. Despite winning their most recent encounter with a 3-1 feat chalked up in the 2016/2017 MTN FA Cup in Tamale, Kotoko are still pained by the 1-3 defeat they suffered in the first leg in Accra, hence their determination to end the year on a high.
Not even their 3-1 win in the MTN FA Cup final two months ago would placate die-hard Kotoko supporters who want revenge at all cost, and a 2-0 win will be enough to hand the Porcupine Warriors the [email protected] trophy on the away goals’ rule.
Hearts on the other hand, will seek revenge after suffering a humiliating 1-3 defeat at the Aliu Mahama Stadium in the MTN FA Cup final. And after missing the Premier League trophy and the President’s Cup, the [email protected] Cup is the only remaining honour the Phobians can win this year as they go into Sunday’s game with a healthy lead.
Early in the week, Hearts midfielder Winful Cobbina said the Phobians would go into the game without pressure and were primed to hand their opponents a shocking defeat on their own grounds.
“As for Hearts-Kotoko matches, no one can predict them, but I am confident we will record another win like we did the last time because we now have new set of players and they are doing very well,” Cobbina told the Graphic Sports.
Hearts coach Frank Nuttall will miss the services of his top marksman Kwame Kizito, who is out of contract and has refused to train with the club or renew his contract as he pursues a move to Sweden. Others unlikely to feature for the Phobians on Sunday are Thomas Abbey and centre-back Vincent Atinga who are both out of contract and also want out of the club.
Coach Polack on the other hand, will have his top stars at his disposal, including captain Amos Frimpong and leading marksman Sadick Adams who scored a hat-trick when the two sides last chashed in Tamale.