There have been many seasons the porcupines have lost focus after defeats to Hearts of Oak. The most immediate one to recall is the 2020/2021 league season post CoVid.
After a 1-0 defeat to the phobians courtesy Afriyie Barnie’s strike, the porcupines never recovered until the end of the said season. Kotoko gained just a point in three (3) meetings against relegation threatened sides.
A draw against King Faisal coupled with defeats to Bechem United and Elmina Sharks marred our season. The porcupines could have won the title with two wins out of three games after the super clash lost since Hearts only gathered two points afterwards.
Despite the seeming recurring situation the porcupines usually find themselves after losses to their bitterest rivals, there have been seasons where Kotoko didn’t lose focus but gathered momentum and went all out to win the ultimate. A similar situation happened last season where a Patrick Razak’s late strike won the phobians the President Cup in Accra, however, the porcupine warriors never looked bothered and managed to win the 2021/2022 league title.
In the 1991/1992 season, Kotoko lost 1-0 at home to Hearts of Oak. This occurred under happenings similar to this current ongoing season. Kotoko had earlier been eliminated from continental football by Burkinabe’ side ASFA
Yennenga. Hearts of Oak were in some kind of crisis after being dumped out of CAF competition by Angolan side Petro Atletico and accused of theft by a Luanda hotel, the phobians came all the way to the garden city and defeated Kotoko
by 1 goal to nil in a postponed league fixture. Despite this, Asante Kotoko never lost focus, they fought hard and won the 1991/1992 league title.
With 14 games left and five points behind league leaders, Aduana Stars, which the porcupines are yet to face at home, a venue they still remain undefeated this season, the league title challenge cannot be over by now. With a total of 24 points to fight for at home (8 games) and 18 points (6 games) on the road, there is every reason to be optimistic despite the painful loss in Accra.
However, the Kumasi based side must acknowledge the inconsistency in terms
of Away performances this season despite some poor officiating decisions. With trips to Samreboi, Berekum, Dawu (Kotoku Royals) and three (3) games in the capital, the team must improve their away performance and continue to be stronger at home in order to defend the league title.
Taking caution from the 2020/2021 season and inspiration from the
1991/1992 and 2021/2022 league seasons, there shouldn’t be any time for blame game, we must keep our heads up, we need to encourage ourselves, right the wrongs, keep working hard to improve, be focused and we shall be victorious.