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9 TALKING POINTS AS KOTOKO AND ASHANTIGOLD SHARE SPOILS.

Derby day! Cagey and keenly contested as always and today was no different except for the less humid atmosphere. Asante Kotoko with a continental game away to Cotonsport looming went all guns firing against their counterparts from Obuasi but nothing could separate the sides.



Nothing! Not the "calls" of the Knight of the whistle. Never the chants and boos of the gathered crowd most of whom were Kotoko aligned. 
In a game played in honor of John Agyekum Kuffuor (JAK), a former President of the Nation who once served as Board Chairman of Kotoko, it was all Kotoko's to go for but Svetislav and his miners had something brewing.
Opting to start with  Richard Djodi and Akaminko in place of Gordon & Saddick Adams,the Serb chose Frank Boateng in post ahead of Dabou summing up a change in weaponry compared to their 2-3 lost under erstwhile manager,  Christiansen at the Babayara Stadium.
Akonnor did ring some changes to the home side with Tagoe and Antwi handed home debuts. 
Kotoko's profligacy set up a heated second half duel which saw both sides getting a goal a piece within an 11 minute interval.

Emmanuel Gyamfi gave the home side the lead with a superbly placed shot into the right bottom of the post but Djodi had other ideas and in typical fashion skipped away from some tackles before planting the ball beyond the reach of the outstretched Tagoe. 
One all it ended after 120 minutes.  Why no penalties? We have you covered.
Here are 9 things we noticed;

1. Champions Never Disappoint.
Prior to the Golden derby, Dr. Frimpong,  owner of the Obuasi based club affectionately known as 'Champion' in his many words to spice up the game made mention of a surprise. Well, he didn't disappoint as the players did show up in some glamour. Came the clamour, came the glamour. Thumbs up ! 

2. Svetislav , the Listener..
Not long ago, due to the lack of competitive football being played, Danish manager,  Christiansen was sent into the cold with Svetislav called upon to head the miners' technical team. The Dane held Kotoko in a two legged fixture in which his side scored 5 and conceded 5. The club's top hierarchy explicitly blamed the Coach's slecetion as a recipe for their lost in Kumasi. Today, by starting Djodi Svetislav affirmed the wishes of the club's top hierarchy and rightly so, it paid off! Good to listen? 

3. Supporters' Fury! Called for!
Incensed by some bad calls made by the referees, the fans didn't hide their dismay when the game was called to an end with no winner after extra time. Rants of boycotting the intended next leg of the tie was clearly heard. After 30 clear minutes of delay, they just couldn't go home without a winner. Many referred to the organiser's as opportunists who only thought about the money to be accrued. Why was there no communication? 14th February already a failed one? 

4. Donkor finds a home outside his beloved Kumasi
On a day of returnees, Donkor looked unfazed by the occasion doing well to keep Martin Antwi and Baako in check though the latter gave him a tougher time. Donkor looks to have found a place be it in attack or defence. The last time he faced Kotoko, his former club, he played as a left winger. He just can't be dropped! Wait, the last time both sides met in a final, he got the winner for the reds against his current employers courtesy a well driven Free kick.

5. Wahab Woes Confirmed.
A change in men by Akonnor saw the former Aduana Stars defensive stalwart grabbing a place in the team. Adams' whose Kotoko career started bright was a pale shadow of his former self. probably lacking some confidence. His desire wasn't missing but he looked put of sorts all afternoon. His decision not to be strong when faced with Saddick Adams for the last parts of the game culminated in his withdrawal albeit a tactical one. With Ganiu looking at home, Wahab must fight to stay or face the exit door in the near future. 
Arriving in style - Players of Ashantigold 

6.Abass and  Bonsu need time
Expecting a tough battle in the middle of the field, Akonnor chose Badu and Bonsu to shore up things. Bonsu did look solid but his passing was not to be desired. He needs time to get back to his old self.
Abass also showed some solidity in his postionoing after a lengthy spell out as well as whipping in some deft crosses but his passing and link up play was suspect. Not much has changed since his last outting  at the Babayara against the Black Stars. 

7.Amos-less Afternoon
Amos Frimpong, Amos Addae and Amos Nkrumah didn't really stake a claim with the Kotoko skipper failing to do much work going forward. Frimpong returned to his favorite right back role with Sefa out. Huffing and puffing but there was never going to be that Amos Frimpong moment. 
Nkrumah who replaced a silent Addae for the miners failed to really get a foot on the ball. How many failed dribbles? Countless. He must work hard. 

8. Ex Factor
Passion based aggression was all to expect in a game of Exs. Saddick Adams whose hattick won Kotoko the 2017 FA Cup summed up this factor when he brawled with Badu. Osei Agyeman shooting both fists into the end after the final whistle speaks volumes. 

9. Ref. Maxwell Owusu- MotM
Referee Owusu all afternoon looked like a man who had misplaced his lecture notes. After many wrong calls had flared up the anger of the home crowd, the referee  blatantly ignored a clear penalty kick to the visitors with the game wearing down. With a section of the fans' calling for his substitution at the halftime break, one would say the penalty could have endangered his life with his calls never endearing him to the hearts of the many gathered. But for this,  Kotoko's Agyemang Badu playing in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role did everything worthy of a Man of the Match accolade. 
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