Kumasi Asante Kotoko will be out for revenge today when they face Accra Hearts of Oak for the Ghana: 60 Years On President’s Cup at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Porcupine Warriors felt cheated in their 0-1 loss to Hearts at the same venue on March 1 when Vincent Atingah converted a penalty awarded by Samuel Sukah to win all three points.
Kotoko has failed to pick up maximum points in the league since that loss – a miserable run of form that cost Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic his job.
Logarusic was replaced by a coaching pair of former players Godwin Ablordey and Frimpong Manso, who have been unable to steady the ship but centre-back Ahmed Adams sees the first leg of the Ghana: 60 Years On President’s Cup, which is being used to commemorate Ghana’s 60th Independence anniversary as an opportunity to avenge the loss.
“That defeat to Hearts, which resulted through me is one thing I can’t forget in my career. I still insist I was innocent. I thank God for this upcoming chance. I will do my best to make amends. We must avenge that controversial defeat,” Adams said in an interview with asantekotokosc.com.
Hearts preparations for the game will suffer a setback with the news that head coach Frank Nuttall will not be on the bench when they lock horns with Kotoko.
The Scotsman guided Hearts to clinch the victory over Kotoko earlier this season but he will be away in his homeland leaving assistant coach Henry Lamptey Wellington to take charge of the team.
Wellington, who presided over his side’s final training yesterday at the Legon Ajax Park, will be hoping to secure an advantage for his side in today’s clash ahead of a trip to the Baba Yara Stadium for the second leg on May 28.
Both sets of players, especially the likes of Yakubu Mohammed, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, Ashittey Ollenu and Amos Frimpong of Kotoko and Patrick Razak, Malik Akowuah, Winful Cobbinah and Thomas Abbey of Hearts will be hoping to catch the eye of Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, who will be in the stands to scout for talent.
Appiah, a defender of Kotoko, will be involved in a curtain-raiser involving retired players of Hearts while members of the national Physically Challenged team, the Black Giants, will feature in another clash.
According to the Ghana: 60 Years On Planning Committee, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, are expected to be in attendance.