It was a great day of football in the city of Tamale. The city hosted the two most glamorous clubs in the country in the FA Cup final dubbed the 'unmissable.' The game produced all there was for one to expect in a game.
At the end of hostilities, it was the lads from Kumasi, who emerged victorious scuppering the dreams of their sworn rivals of ending their trophyless drought. There was absolute joy and jollity at the Tamale Sports Stadium when the giants engaged eachother for the coveted trophy as well as the bragging rights.
The intimidating crowd rooted unflinchingly for their Stars from the start to the end of the game. Men were seen with their cherubic wives and girlfriends gracefully clad in the adorable colours of their respective clubs merrying - before, during and after the game. Players were seen comfortably exchanging niceties with the fans.
That is the beauty of football. It is no respecter of form and full of uncertainties. Here are four things we learned from the game at the Tamale Sports Stadium.
1. Saddick Adams silences loudmouth Phobians.
Great players choose special moments to announce their presence. Since joining the Porcupine Warriors in the second half of the season, the former national star has never earned the respect of the fans of Accra Hearts of Oak.
The least opportunity, the Phobians get, they calumniate him forgetting how prolific he could be on a good day.Fortunately for Adams, he was presented with an opportunity to prove his critics wrong and he never disappointed- a hatrick from him ensured the Accra lads left Tamale with handkerchiefs soaked with tears.
2. Kwame Boahene shows why he is unstoppable when unleashed.
It took a change of manager for Kwame Boahene to get the opportunity he deserves. After his transfer from Medeama, the tricky winger found it very difficult to replicate the form that made him an 'untouchable' in his former club.
The winger was a bundle of energy in the opening minutes of the game, terrorising Hearts defenders with high-speed dribbling.
Given the attributes he possesses, Boahene was a smart pick to start the match against the Phobians.And so it proved as he recorded an assist to crown his good day.
3.Ode to the Phobians
The Kumasi Asante Kotoko faithfuls will want to thank the Management of their rivals for letting go of Augustine Sefa.
The hardworking right back was on the verge of joining Hearts of Oak from Ashgold but to his utter dismay, he was asked to leave with no reason. Kotoko took a gamble and brought him on board and has since been one of the best signings this term.
Unlike most Right Backs, Sefa doesn’t just play with his back to defenders. The experienced player is a fantastic dribbler of the ball, strong in the tackle and a very good crosser of the ball. It was Sefa's cross that led to the penalty which converted by Saddick Adams.
4. Bad day for Nuttal and his charges
Kumasi Asante Kotoko won every battle in the firs half of the game. The Phobians were slower and offered no intensity whatsoever. They also introduced a range of fringe players— Joshua Otoo and Malik Akowuah — the duo failed to exert their presence on the game especially in the first half thus conceding three goals. For a coach that has thrived on a 3-4-3 for most part of the season to opt for a different formation in a such an epic encounter should tell us how bad the day was for Nuttal and his charges. The first half was awful but they looked pronidi when he reverted to the 3-4-3 system in the second half. As to why Inusah Musah, Samudeen Ibrahim and Ruben Gnagne weren't played is still a question the fans of Hearts would love to be furnished with an answer. It is a painful loss to them but as their motto says, "never say die," trust them to bounce back in a grand fashion next season.
By: Godfred Budu Yeboah