NC SPECIAL CUP SEMI-FINAL: Hearts – Kotoko revive old rivalry


Tier one of the ongoing NC Special Cup competition gets to the closing stages as former continental club masters Accra Hearts of Oak welcome their bitterest and most successful Ghanaian football club Kumasi Asante Kotoko to the Accra Sports Stadium today.

The two most glamorous football clubs in Ghana will battle each other Sunday afternoon at the nation’s capital as both clubs set their sights on winning the prestigious trophy with bragging rights at stake for both set of players and supporters.

The super clash will serve as a final before the finals as former coach of the Phobians, C.K Akunnor and his charges look poised for action after their five days training camp at Nsuta ahead of the crunch encounter today.

Akunnor and the Porcupine Boys will be doing battle without their safest pair of hands in the person of Felix Annan who is currently with the senior national team of Ghana in Dubai ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off  in six days time in Egypt.

Annan kept seven clean sheets out of 12 games played in post and will be dearly missed by the Fabulous Club in their quest to reach the NC Special Cup grand finale at the expense of their arch rivals Hearts of Oak.

Burkinabe international Sogne Yacouba who tormented the back-line of the Rainbow Boys in a back-to-back friendly victories over the Phobians at the Kumasi Baba Yara Sports Stadium in 2018 is sweating to pass the late fitness test ahead of the big game, but with the return of their talisman Abdul Fatau Safiu from the national team’s camp, Akunnor may as well have a deadly forward to call upon in the absence of Yacouba while compatriots Maxwell Baako and Richard Senenu remain on the sidelines with injuries.

Coach Kim Grant of Hearts of Oak in his first derby will be looking up to players like experienced captain Fatau Mohammed, Christopher Bonney, and young guns Benjamin Afutu, William Denkyi and Abdul Omar Manaf to replicate the great and wonderful performances which wowed many Phobians and football fans in Ghana earlier in the tournament.

With the return of the former Wafa SC captain, Mohammed Alhasan, who has been the bedrock of the Phobians’ defense this season brings so much stability into his side as all looks set for the old folks to battle their way to the final of the NC Special Cup today in Accra at exactly 3pm as the fight for the right to represent Ghana in Africa’s elite club competition intensifies.

By Delrand Ansah Mensah Whyte ( SKIPPER) for Daily Mail GH

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