Hearts vs Kotoko: Phobians in search of first major silverware since 2009

Published on: 12 June 2019

The two most decorated clubs in Ghana, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko will face off in the semi-finals of the Ghana Football Association Normalisation Committee Special Competition on Sunday June 16, 2019 at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Hearts of Oak will be seeking to win their first major trophy in a decade since winning the Glo Ghana Premier League in 2009 as well as making a return to the Champions League if they are able to win the competition.

Asante Kotoko will also be hoping to return to Africa Club competition after making the Money Zone last season but they must first overcome an impressive and rejuvenated Hearts of Oak side. The build up to the game has been hit with a lot of controversies as Asante Kotoko initially pulled out of the tie due to issues concerning how much each club is supposed to get from the gate proceeds.

Kotoko had insisted that the game be played at a neutral ground and the gate proceeds shared 40% each for the two clubs, while the GFA takes the remaining 20%.

The NC rejected Kotoko’s protest, and insisted that the game will go ahead at the Accra stadium and the gate proceeds shared 40-30% with Hearts getting 40%.

Kotoko issued a press statement to officially withdraw from the competition but consultations with the Normalisation Committee and other stakeholders had them rescind their decision to play the semi-final against the arch-rivals Hearts of Oak.

Both teams have been in fine form heading into this game as Hearts of Oak topped Premier B of the Special Competition while Asante Kotoko placed second in Premier A to set up this mouth-watering clash at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Heading to the game Hearts have had enough rest as they were not in action this weekend after been eliminated from the Tier II Special Competition while Asante Kotoko took on Berekum Arsenals in the quarter-finals in a game they won 2-1 to progress to the semi-finals.

Battle of the coaches

This will also be the first meeting between Kim Grant (Hearts) and Charles Kwabla Akonnor(Kotoko) who are head coaches of the two clubs. Kim Grant has blended a youthful side with experienced ones who have adapted to his tactics and style of football while C.K Akonnor can also boost of some experienced players such as Amos Frimpong, Songne Yacouba who can cause havoc on any day. This is will be the first time both managers will test the Super Two clash and the bragging rights will be at stake in this game? Unconfirmed reports indicate that Hearts of Oak’s Umbro jersey has arrived in the country and they are likely to outdoor it against Kotoko on Sunday.

By Herbert Boakye Yiadom

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