Supporters of Asante Kotoko will be eager to witness how their side will bounce back today against Bechem United at their newly adopted home venue, Accra Sports Stadium after a spell of unimpressive performances and a weekend of endless scandals that has brought the club under the screeching lens of the press.
Their agony started off at Dormaa when the team alongside homesters, Aduana, used 10 players instead of the usual 11 for the greater part of the first-half due to superstition that resulted in Aduana’s Samuel Bio’s late sucker punch to grab all three points for his side.
This move was heavily criticized by the sports media and connoisseurs who described the conduct as unprofessional and an action that muddied the reputation of the game.
The situation was compounded when the side lost 2-1 to Division One side, Asokwa Deportivo that stretched a streak of three winless games that began with a barren game against Ashantigold on match day 10, incurring the displeasure of the club’s base.
Just when things could not get any worse, a leaked audio of a seemingly livid Board chair, Dr Kwame Kyei’s scathing rebuke of the playing body and technical team surfaced on Tuesday, widely concluding the fact that the club was experiencing a chaotic tumble.
It remains to be seen how Head Coach, Maxwell Konadu, who has visibly remained calm in the midst of the storm rally his troops for the battle today.
Bechem United are proving to be a formidable force and sit just beneath Asante Kotoko in sixth position with 17 points against Kotoko’s superior 18 points. They will provide a stern test to Kotoko’s comeback spirit to set up the matchday 13 clash as a pivotal game.
Undoubtedly, at this vulnerable time, the ‘Hunters’ 16-year old goal machine Prince Adu Kwabena will be hoping to increase his eight goal tally to inflict more damage to the porcupines’ woes spurred on by the influential playmaker Hafiz Konkoni and the hardworking Charles Mensah.
Konadu, however, will be spurred on by the Hunters abysmal record in Accra losing all three visits to the capital against Inter Allies (3-2) , Legon Cities(1-0) whilst a last-ditch Kofi Kordzi towering header stole all three points for Hearts in a 3-2 loss in their match day 10 fixture.
In the reverse, Konadu’s side have won both games in Accra, beating Legon Cities 3-1 whilst also handing arch-rivals Hearts of Oak a 2-1 defeat in their match day six ‘El Classico’ clash.
Konadu will be counting on Emmanuel Gyamfi to produce the same dosage he handed Bechem United in their last league fixture in 2018 in Kumasi when Gyamfi’s 70th minute strike handed the porcupines a lone goal victory.
Despite missing right-back Christopher Nettey to accumulated cards, Konadu will also be hoping key figures such as Augustine Okrah, Justice Blay, William Opoku, Martin Antwi and Richard Arthur step up to win the day for his side which will see them climb to second spot on the league log and quell the noise at his doorstep.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO