Kotoko capped their return to the pitch albeit in a friendly match with a 4-1 win on Wednesday as Obed Owusu, Yakubu Mohammed, Isaac Quansah and Abass Mohammed scored against Natcoster FC in the team’s preparatory game ahead of Sunday’s Super Clash.
The Porcupines play their first competitive game against arch rivals Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi, for the first time since the July 12 fatal accident. The team started training barely two weeks ago with players who weren’t part of the ill-fated July 12 incident. The accident victims have been joining training sessions in along the line.
Wednesday’s trial match against the Division Two side was a good test. It was quite a fine start in the presence of a sparse crowd, who watched keenly to ascertain whether or not the Porcupines were fully ready for the outstanding match day 23 epic clash.
Yakubu Mohammed wasted a glorious chance in the 5th minute when after pinning down goalkeeper, Randy Appiah to win the ball, he astonishingly shot into the goalie’s body. But, in the 21st minute, Yakubu atoned for his earlier miss with a clinical finish, pouncing on a through pass from Eric Donkor, which once again, followed a sweet build-up from defence.
The movement was simply sweet. The Porcupines switched from defence to attack with Ahmed Adams winning the ball from the feet of striker, Francis Dadzie inside the box.
Adams found Frank Sarfo Gyamfi and in a swift transition, the ball was sent to the left wing for Eric Donkor to put Yakubu through. Yakubu lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper with the outside of his foot despite being confronted by three markers. His finishing was marvellous.
Nacoster FC however pulled one back in the 39th minute as Derrick Awuah Boakye converted a penalty kick after goalie, Ernest Sowah fouled Benin Oppong who was advancing dangerously to goal.
Coach Steven Polack was in the stands as Team Manager, Godwin Ablordey, supported by Youth team coach, Ernest Appau directed affairs from the bench. Polack intermittently made telephone calls to Ablordey to pass on tactical advice.
The starting line-up had Ahmed Adams, Eric Donkor, Augustine Sefa, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, Baba Mahama, Obed Owusu and Yakubu Mohammed – who were all part of the July accident. Later on, Jackson Owusu, Eric Donkor, Obed Owusu and Seth Opare came on for Atta Kusi, Collins Ameyaw, Isaac Quansah and Prince Acquah respectively.
Ernest Sowah was also replaced by Youth team goalie, Nurudeen Mobinno while Frank Sarfo Gyamfi’s place was also taken by young winger, Felix Baah. Isaac Quansah, coming in as a substitute, finished off Atta Kusi’s nice corner kick with a splendid header to leave the score line at 3-1 after 72 minutes.
Again, Atta Kusi had his name written all over the fourth goal. With a solo effort, he beat three markers before providing a cut-back pass for substitute, Abass Mohammed to hit home in the 86th minute to end the game 4-1.