Hardly had the frenzy over their ascension onto the summit of the standings sunk down than the almost devastating blow that Kotoko will have to play the remainder of the league outside Kumasi was announced this week.
On Sunday, the Porcupine Warriors begin that uncertain journey at the Sunyani Coronation Park where an otherwise home game against Aduana Stars has been shifted closer to Kotoko’s opponents.
With fellow title contenders Berekum Chelsea and Medeama clashing in the other top-liner at nearby Berekum, the Brong Ahafo Region will become the focus of Ghanaian football action this weekend.
All three of Kotoko, Chelsea and Medeama are tied on 46 points apiece, but Sunday could provide an early verdict on the direction of the title. But the fact that Kotoko begin their ‘exile’ against Aduana, who mathematically also have a chance of winning the title, could not have happened at a more critical time.
Indeed, the apparent respite which last Sunday’s victory over Arsenal at Berekum brought to Coach Mas-Ud Didi Dramani may have been tampered with by the unfolding events, and perhaps until the ultimate is achieved, the uncertainty may persist.
The double cracker will test Medeama’s credentials as credible title contenders against 2011 champions, while Kotoko and Aduana will stage the other clash of champions.
At least at Sunyani, Aduana may call on the experience of Bernard Don Bortey, a veteran football with experience in clashes against Kotoko dating back to his earlier career period at the defunct GHAPOHA and later Hearts of Oak.
For all his memorable games against the Porcupine Warriors, Bortey’s presence will provide an interesting twist to a serious affair that has everything at stake.
Perhaps, if only Kofi Nti Boakye, Seidu Bancey and Michael Akuffo could find their scoring form against goalkeeper Stephen Adams, it may neutralise whatever influence Bortey could have on the match.
Medeama’s slide from the top spot has happened on the back of poor form lately, but against Chelsea, neither side will take prisoners.
Resurgent Hearts of Oak visit All Stars at Wa, while New Edubiase United welcome King Faisal to Bekwai. Liberty Professionals host Kpando Heart of Lions at Dansoman in Accra, relegated RTU host tottering Berekum Arsenal at Tamale, Ebusua Dwarfs face Tema Youth in Cape Coast, while Amidaus Professionals play AshantiGold at the Tema Stadium.
Preview: Michael Quaye