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CAN ASANTE CONQUER GHANA?

3 days after his flick into the net to give the Black Stars a win over Jamaica in Accra, Baba Armando scored a stunning free-kick in Kumasi as Asante Kotoko drew one all with the Jamaican national team in 1999. To some, his left foot leaves memories that can never be relived.  

The 'Reggae Boys' back from their 1998 World Cup adventure gave the Kumasi crowd a feel of a club side taking on a national team. Led by Ricardo Fuller, the Jamaicans stopped in the West African country for the year's PANAFEST celebrations. 

The club has gone on to engage the Black Stars in 2 other friendlies, notably in 2003 and 2008. Though both matches were against a Black Stars side consisting of local based players. Kotoko won the first courtesy a goal by Francis Aggrey with Emmanuel Banahene 's brace winning the second for the Black Stars. 


4pm on Friday, 12th October, Asante Kotoko will once more engage the Black Stars in a friendly encounter at the Babayara Stadium. Can the good old days be relived? 

The Black Stars were scheduled to play their Sierra Leonean counterparts until a ban from FIFA prevented the Leone Stars from making the trip. Ghana nearly suffered a similar fate months ago when football officials were accused of being corrupt based on an exposé by Tiger Eye Pi. 

The game will be new head coach of Asante Kotoko, Charles Akonnor's first. The former captain of the Black Stars will lead his charges against the Black Stars led by Akwasi Appiah who was a former captain of the Black Stars. Interestingly, both are left-footed. 

Asante Kotoko is on a good run having won 8 matches from a possible 11 since the double defeats to Hearts of Oak and Karela United in the league. Striker, Yacouba Songne will fancy his chances when he contends with Daniel Amartey, Jonathan Mensah and John Boye. 

Having scored 11 goals in 12 games for Kotoko, Yacouba would use this opportunity to seek a call up from Burkinabe head coach, Paulo Duarte. Harrison Afful who didn't get to start the Stars' last game in Kenya might have to prove his merit against his former club. Interestingly, Kotoko paraded a Burkinabe forward, Clovis Kambou, when they played the Black Stars in 2003.

Just as the Stars' head hinted, the game will be used as a preparatory game for the Ethiopia clash. For Felix Annan, this is a chance to stake his claim. The shot stopper earned a call up to the Black Stars camp but he might have to play against them. Stopping Emmanuel Boateng and Asamoah Gyan will be a hell of a task. 

With both sides having a good run at the Babayara Stadium, let's see who owns the pitch as Thomas Partey and Mubarak Wakaso sort it out with Kotoko's Richard Senanu and Prince Acquah. Can the flicks and turns of Jordan, Boahene and Emmanuel Gyamfi match that of Christian Atsu and Kwadwo Asamoah of the Black Stars? 

Let's meet. Hopefully we see another "Armando" moment. 
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