Kumasi Asante Kotoko pipped ASEC Mimosa of La Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 to lift the MTN Otumfuo@20 commemorative cup at stake in the match played at the Baba Yara Stadium, yesterday.
It was a great moment of joy for Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for the victory of the Red Army.
He could not hide his joy as he lifted the cup and gave it to keeper Felix Annan who captained the team on the big occasion.
The match brought to an end activities that were lined up for the celebration of Otumfuo’s 20th anniversary since he enstoolment as the 16th occupant of the golden stool in 1999 in direct succession to Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the founder of Asanteman.
Otumfuo, in the company of the Youth and Sports Minister, Mr. Isaac Kwame Asiamah, and other personalities exchanged greetings with the players before the commencement of hostilities.
The Asanteman contingent started in earnest but lacked the team work and 23 minutes on, their talisman, Songne Yacouba was replaced with Nurudeen Ibrahim following an injury.
Goalkeeper Sylla Mamadou was caught ball watching when a powerful header from Stephen Nyarko zoomed into the net on the 30th minute mark.
Not perturbed, the visitors, led by Badie Gbagnon, who galvanized the midfield, surged forward in droves but could not find the equalizer to end the half with a goal down.
The second half was full of fireworks as both teams increased the tempo with Kotoko going close to scoring the second but Asec substitute goalkeeper Bamba Aboubacar pulled magnificent saves from substitutes, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Abdul Safui Fatawu.
Asec Mimosa were a delight to watch at this juncture, with substitute Kone Mohammed combining effectively with Badie Gbagnon and Traore Benie Adama to pump heat into the game but Kotoko managed to soak the pressure to lift the cup with the only goal of the match.
And, it was no wonder Traore Benie Adama was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI