Sports News of Saturday, 29 February 2020
Goalkeeper Felix Annan demonstrated that he is more of a team player than an egoistic person after delivering a powerful pre-game motivational speech to his Kotoko colleagues before their impressive 3-1 victory over Bechem United in Accra last night.
Annan, a Black Stars player and captain of Asante Kotoko has fallen down the pecking order at the club with head coach Maxwell Konadu favouring the improved Kwame Baah in post.
Annan’s recent ‘demotion’ has led to a lot of speculations, including unsubstantiated allegations that he does not get on well with the new coach.
Earlier this month, Maxwell Konadu has had to clear the air on his relationship with the player, insisting that Felix Annan remains the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Despite losing his spot, Annan is not letting that affect his leadership qualities and was seen encouraging his teammates before their win over Bechem which also comes coincidentally after the tirade by Kotoko Executive Chairman Dr Kwame Kyei.
In the viral video, Annan was heard telling his teammates, “guys, the game starts from now. Whatever has happened in the past let us put it behind us.
This is the time to turn things around and it starts from the warm-up. Let us see the urgency and everything. It is not about quality because we have the quality. It is all about the heart, the braveness, that’s what we use to win,” Annan said to a rapturous applause from his colleagues.
The pep-talk seem to have hit the right notes as Asante Kotoko came from behind to earn a 3-1 victory over Bechem United at their adopted Accra Sports Stadium in a Ghana Premier League matchday 12 clash.
Having taken just one point in their last two games, the Porcupine Warriors reignited their title hopes as they moved to second on the table with the same points as AshantiGold who will play on Sunday.
Bechem United against the run of play took the lead on 20 minutes. A brilliant cross was directed to the path of Hafiz Konkoni who made no mistake from six yards out as he headed into the net.
Kotoko got close to equalising when referee Kennedy Padi awarded them a penalty after the ball hit the hand of Bechem defender. But the decision was overturned because the assistant referee Roland Addy managed to convince the referee that the defender’s hand was in a natural position.
Kotoko were not to be denied in the 37th minute as they grabbed the equaliser. Martin Antwi was at the right place to tap the ball home following a terrible mistake from Bechem goalkeeper Prince Asempa.
Kotoko then went ahead in added time. The goal was synonymous to the first. Prince Asempa made another mistake and Augustine Okrah was there for the easy tap in. The attacker, who previously played for Bechem did not celebrate his goal.
Kotoko returned to the second half more determined. Justice Blay rattled the bar in the 50th minute. Six minutes later, Imoro Ibrahim made it 3-1. The midfielder curled a direct free-kick straight into the net leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
The win is a great response after a troubled few weeks which saw them fail to win their last three matches including a shock defeat against Asokwa Deportivo in the round of 64 stage of the MTN FA Cup.