Eyes on Confed. Cup slot …as Dreams FC, Skyy FC, Faisal, Nsoatreman chase final tickets in FA Cup competition

Ghana Pre­mier League campaigners, Dreams FC may be dreaming of an FA Cup grand final appearance ahead of a tricky semi-final clash against Division One League (DOL) campaigners, Skyy FC at the Dr. Kwame Kyei Sports Complex at Abrankese, today.

Coach Abdul Karim Zito’s side made history when they brushed aside Legon Cities 1-0 to cruise to their first semi-final berth of the competition and are now desirous of playing in the finals; hoping to crown their efforts by winning the Holy Grail for the first time in the club’s history.

On paper, that is achievable, but in reality, they would have to overcome a creeping Skyy FC side that have also managed to write a piece of history for themselves in the competition after reaching this stage for the first time.

Isaac Quagraine
-Skyy FC
• Isaac Quagraine -Skyy FC

As one of the two teams in pole position to qualify for Ghana’s Premier League from Zone 2, Coach Christian Lok­ko is of the firm belief that their pedigree in the league puts them a little above their opponents, who are currently fighting to avoid the drop from the Premiership.

Ahead of today’s fixture, the coaches of both sides faced the media on Thursday, and for Zito, an appearance on the African scene was his driving force.

“If you take into consideration the factors affecting us in the league and the FA Cup, the latter would easily send us to Africa, which will help us to better market the club than just playing in the top flight.”

“All we have to do is manage and stay in the league, but winning the FA Cup is an important piece of history for the club that would transcend generations, and that is our focus now.”

Dreams FC managed to get to this stage of the competition by pulling one of the biggest shocks when they eliminated defending champions Accra Hearts of Oak at the Round of 32 stage with a 1-0 win.

Before that, they brushed aside Asekem FC 2-1 and went on to beat Liberty Professionals 3-0 before sending Le­gon Cities packing.

His opposite number, Coach Christian Nortey Lokko, has vowed to turn the dream of Dreams FC gaffer into a nightmare, stating that he was the more experienced one at this level of compe­tition and knows how to get over his senior colleague.

Coach Lokko guided Nzema Kotoko to the finals of the 2019 Normalization Special Cup Tier 2 Competition, which they eventually lost to Ashantigold SC 1-0.

But he finds himself in another final where he believes he would be lucky this time to deal with the threat from the Premier League outfit.

“I am very confident in my team’s fighting spirit, and I believe that today we will be too hot for them to handle.”

“My players are highly moti­vated; the history and fame that awaits them alone has done a lot to their psyche. We have sharpened the rough edges of our play, and Dreams FC would not survive against us.”

En route to this stage, the Daboase-based DOL side tri­umphed over Ebusua Dwarfs 1-0 in the quarter-finals, after they had accounted for Heart of Lions 2-1, Karela United 2-0, WAFA 5-4 on penalties, and Betenase United 7-6 also on penalties.

This incredible record, he said, clearly gives them an idea as to how to handle the elite side.

Referee Reginald Collins Amoah will take charge of the game, with Peter Dawsa and David Addico as his assistants.

Action will continue at the same venue tomorrow when the second semi-final comes alive between Premier League debutants Nsoatre­man FC and King Faisal.

King Faisal have enjoyed some roller coaster rides in the competi­tion in the past, but this year’s jour­ney marks the best ever, and having come this far, Assistant Coach of the side, Godwin Ablordey was optimistic about the team’s chances of annexing the trophy.

Ablordey, who has FA Cup medals with Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko both as a player and a technical team mem­ber at Ko­toko in their last triumph in 2017, says he hopes to share that feeling of winning the FA Cup with the playing body to urge them to go past Nsoatreman.

He told the media that they were well prepared for the game, and the technical team has spoken to the players to let them know what was at stake for them in this game.

“We are thinking about the league more. We will manage the team and make one or two chang­es against Nsoatreman FC, but whatever the case, we are going to beat them on Sunday,” he added.

Faisal performed a giant-killing feat at the quarterfinal stage when they defeated favourites and Pre­mier League leaders Aduana Stars 3-1 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

They also defeated Steadfast FC 1-0, GoldStars FC 4-1, and PRO Player Football Academy 2-0.

For Coach Abubakri Mumuni of Naoatreman, fans should expect a thrilling encounter that will pass for the finals before the finals.

Both teams have met just twice in their history and have each won their respective home games, and for him, this game would settle the scores as to who was superior.

“We are putting things in place to eliminate King Faisal and move to the finals. We are upbeat about our chances; the players know what is expected of them; the club president has motivated us to go all out, so we shall surely get the result to make the people of Nsoatre happy,” Coach Mumuni stated.

“Looking at where we have come from and where we have gotten to, I think we are almost there, and so we just have to get to the final stage to end the season on a high.”

“Obviously, we want to represent the people of Nsoatre and Ghana in Africa, which we are prepared for, and being able to come this far in the FA Cup, we want to at least win the ultimate and do just that.”

The Premier League new boys grabbed the headlines in the quar­terfinals of the competition when they defeated Real Tamale United 1-0 at their own backyard, Aliu Mahama Stadium in Tamale.

This was after they had defeated Debibi United 7-6 on penalties, Wamanafo Mighty Royals 1-0, and Baffour Soccer Academy 2-1.

Referee Gideon Nii Cofie will handle the game alongside Theo­philius Akugre and Isaac Pinto.


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