It was fun galore at the Akim Oda Stadium as Division One League(DOL), Zone three winners, Kotoku Royals were crowned champions after an exciting 2-2 stalemate against regional rivals, Susubiribi SC in a coronation match on Sunday.
Dignitaries such as Paramount Chief of Oda Traditional Area, Dr Oseadeeyo Frimpong Manso and Member of Parliament(MP) for Akim Oda Alexander Akwasi Acquah, joined elated fans who filled the stadium to rafters and engaged in long sessions of ‘jama’, singing and dancing for the entire duration of the game.
The visitors thronged in from surrounding towns including Akim Swedru, Awisa, Achiase, Aboabo, Batabi, Manso, Asuboa, Asanteman etc to celebrate the success of Kotoku- who will mark their maiden appearance in the Premier League and have also broken the Eastern Region’s 17-year old jinx without a club in the top-flight.
Unsurprisingly, the fans descended unto the pitch after the final whistle to mob the players, take pictures with them while others simply congratulated them for the feat.
In the game, Kotoko Royals drew first blood through Benjamin Addo in the first-half. The home side doubled the lead through a spot-kick expertly converted by Kingsley Afriyie in the second-half.
Susubiribi grabbed a goal back through Isaac Yeboah who scored from a spot-kick after a Royals defender was adjudged to have handled the ball. Towards the end of the game, Daniel Osafo pulled parity for the visitors when he beautifully struck home a free-kick just outside the visitors goal area.
Paramount Chief of Oda Traditional Area, Dr Oseadeeyo Frimpong Manso speaking to the Times Sports highlighted the unity, cohesion and economic prosperity the qualification will engineer.
He charged the team to exhibit the same fighting spirit, vigour, hard work and work ethic to ensure success in the league.
MP for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah said he would join forces with other MP’s from the Eastern enclave and bigwigs from the region to upscale the stadium and also provide the support that would ensure they maintained their new-found status.
On his part, President of Kotoku Royals, Linford Asamoah described the occasion as a total victory for the community and the Eastern region due to the development it will instigate. He said the club had a strategic plan to stick to, to ensure they stay in top-flight for a long period.
An enthusiastic fan of the club, 23-year old Mabel Deheer also expressed excitement about the economic and football related activities that would swell around the community.
Kotoku Royals qualified on the final day of Zone three games after a pulsating 0-0 draw against Tema Youth at Tema. The draw saw them finish top of the group with 63 points ahead of former Premier League campaigners Liberty Professionals and Tema Youth who chalked 62 and 60 points, respectively.
FROM NANA BENTSI ODURO, AKIM ODA