Berekum Chelsea 2-1 Asante Kotoko: The Blues win the Republic Day trophy after second half comeback

Coach Maxwell Konadu failed to win his last game in charge of the Porcupine Warriors as he bids them goodbye to fully take charge of the Black Stars as deputy coach
Berekum Chelsea beat Asante Kotoko by two goals to one to win the President’s Cup. The Blues now join the Porcupine Warriors as the only two clubs to have won the trophy two consecutive times after the Kumasi-based club achieved that feat during the 2004 and 2005 editions.

The Berekum boys set themselves up well for their Caf Champion’s League game against Zamalek next week after scoring twice in the second half to lift the annual trophy in celebration of Ghana’s Republic Day.

A weak effort from Edward Kpodo in the 50th minute cancelled out Kofi Nti Boakye’s deft chip in the 16th minute with Gladson Awako settling the game with a cleanly hit shot from the edge of the box that squirmed under goalkeeper Sulaima Abdoulaye.

The game started well with both teams playing some good football in an attempt to gain an early advantage and Kotoko’s Awal Mohammed was quick to get in a block on Musa Mohammed’s 4th minute shot. Both teams kept probing until the 16th minute when Boakye run onto a brilliant through ball by Yaw Frimpong and dinked it delicately over the on rushing Ernest Sowah to give Kotoko the lead.

Chelsea tried their best to equalise but the Porcupine Warriors held their own Sulaima alert to snuff out all of Chelsea’s threats restricting the men from Berekum to wayward shots from distance and giving Kotoko the lead at half time.

Hans van der Plyum’s briefing during the interval worked like magic with Bismark Idan getting a shot away almost at the restart. Then a ferocious free kick forced a nervous save from Sulaima with the ball coming back almost immediately and Sulaima having to concede a corner from Musa Mohammed’s shot.

Awako floated in the resulting corner which was flicked away only as far as Kpodo whose scuffed shot trickled into the net after Sulaima was unsighted by Nafiu Awudu. Kotoko went up the other end almost immediately with Nii Adjei’s free kick striking the post.

Sowah then dealt with a number of crosses from the flanks. Obed Owusu who came on for Moro then hits a good shot toward the bottom corner which Sulaima saved well. Awako then sealed the win with a cleanly hit shot from the edge of the box after getting past Gideon Baah with a clever dummy with the ball going in under Sulaima.

Maxwell Konadu in an attempt to salvage his final game for the Fabulous Club brought on Richard Yeboah and Yahaya Mohammed for Michael Anaba and Michael Akuffo respectively.

Yahaya forced a good save out of Sowah with a free kick which Awal Mohammed could have turned in before Nti Boakye glanced Michael Helegbe’s in-swinging cross against the post late on but it was not enough as the Porcupine Warriors went home defeated.