The Porcupine Warriors lost to their biggest rivals as Ghana celebrated its 65th independence anniversary and the hangover is still there
Asante Kotoko will play their biggest away game in the second round as they lock horns with Bechem United at the Nana Fosu Gyeabour Park on Tuesday.
This is a game which was initially scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 6 but it was eventually postponed due to Kotoko’s involvement in the 2022 President’s Cup – a game that they ended up losing to their bitterest rivals Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday.
That defeat has left some scare on the faces of Kotoko supporters and although, they console themselves that it was just a friendly game and can’t determine who represent Ghana on the continent next season, another poor results against Bechem will move matters from bad to worse, if not worst.
Prosper Ogum Narteh needs to have the mojo of his players on time and show reaction against Bechem or else, their season could turn from an impressive one to a situation where they would have to double their efforts to prevent losing their grips on the league trophy like last season.
Apart from Kotoko facing former players like Augustine Okrah, Emmanuel Asante and Latif Anabila, they will be playing one one of the well-composed teams this season.
Remember that Bechem United went eleven games unbeaten in the Premier League (13 games in all competitions) and only lost that streak of matches in a controversial manner against Medeama in Tarkwa last weekend thanks to a last minute penalty which Vincent Atinga scored.
Again, Bechem have won seven of their eight home games this season and only shared the spoils once, as well as conceding just one goal.
They have the best goalkeeper so far this season in Abdulai Iddrisu and their defence led by Kofi Agbesimah and Samuel Osei Kuffour is one any team would relish to have.
Okrah, who has scored eight goals so far, is the known face in the Bechem squad but Clinton Duodo, Francis Twene, Emmanuel Annor and Hafiz Konkoni can punish you any day with the slightest of opportunities. To sum it up, Bechem pipped Kotoko 2-1 at the same venue last season and that caused major confusion in the visitors squad which eventually led to the departure of some players including deputy captain Emmanuel Gyamfi.
“They should send [their anger] to other teams but not us here in Bechem,” Bechem coach Kassim Mingle told ghanasportspage.
“We are not afraid of them and we are very much prepared for them. At our home ground, I don’t think they can even take a point from us.
“We are preparing very well for them. You know we’ve never lost a match in our home grounds this season so we have to maintain that record,” Kassim added.
Kotoko have a shaky defence especially Abdul Ganiu and Yussif Mubarik. Remember that it was Bechem that exposed them in the first leg at Baba Yara Sports Stadium which even led to the referee being banned six games because he failed to show Ganiu red card.
The only thing that has saved Kotoko’s defence this season is that their opponents have failed to punish them and the last league game against Dreams FC was an evidence.
However, in the President’s Cup against Hearts of Oak, Patrick Razak made them pay for such blunders and if care is not taking today, Bechem will repeat it. The defence is always exposed when they play high line and that was why Ganiu and Mubarik were exposed by Razak on Friday.
Kotoko’s strengths are in midfield and attack with Etouga Mbella but not defence, so they must score more than a goal today if they want to leave Bechem with all the points.
Even with Kotoko’s attack, Bechem United coach seems to have plotted a plan to neutralize them since he has already promised that Etouga will have a terrible day.
“On Friday, Kotoko played against Hearts of Oak and they couldn’t surprise Hearts of Oak, so definitely the same thing is going to happen at our home grounds,” Kassim said.
With Aduana Stars picking up points and now sit only seven points behind Kotoko, Ogum and his charges need to be weary of the opposition they face in Bechem or else it will be another defeat within four days.
I’m expecting a highly entertaining game with good officiating.