Kumasi Asante Kotoko yesterday defeated a team of former Black Stars players 4-2 to win the 1965 AFCON squad fundraising trophy at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The non-competitive tie was witnessed by a sizeable crowd, including former President Jerry John Rawlings, GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi and Kennedy Agyepong of Kenpong Group of Companies, one of the sponsors of the match. It brought together the cream of the Black Stars team which reached the final of the 1992 Nations Cup in Senegal as they teamed up to pit their strength against the newly crowned SWAG Cup champions.
While age had slowed down the former national stars, some of whom had developed protruding bellies due to years of inactivity, they nonethless took the fans on a sentimental journey, treating them to deft touches and flashes of their heyday.
Retired legends such as ‘Dribbling Magician’ Mohammed Ahmed Polo, Anthony Yeboah, Windsor Kofi Abbrey, former Stars coach Kwasi Appiah, Opoku Nti, Nii Odartey Lamptey, Emmanuel Armah, Emmanuel ‘Charman’ Ampeah, Prince Opoku Polley, among others, featured in the match.
The younger and stronger Porcupine Warriors clinched victory through a brace from Michael Yeboah and a goal each from Dauda Mohammed and lanky forward Elvis Amoh.
Coach David Duncan’s side headed into the halftime break with a deserved 2-0 lead after Dauda Mohammed headed in from point-blank range, while Michael Yeboah scored his first after he nodded in a precise cross by Emmanuel Asante past veteran goalie, Eddie Ansah.
Kotoko continued to dominate the game in the second half and scored another goal in the 66th minute when Amoh raced from the centre line before rounding up the goalie to score.
Yeboah completed his personal brace in the 72nd minute when he finished a passing move.
The loudest cheer from a sparse crowd at the stadium came in the 74th minute when the Stars’ Frank Osei capitalised on a weak defensive header to volley a shot powerfully past Kotoko goalie, Ernest Sowah.
The former national stars scored another consolation goal, in the minute when Felix Aboagye converted from the penalty spot after Charles Asampong “Taylor” was fouled.
The victory was Kotoko’s second pre-season victory in a week after they defeated Ashgold last Sunday to win the SIC-Nyemitei SWAG Cup.