Liberty, Bechem seek MTN FA Cup final spots

Author: Bernard Neequaye and Beatrice Laryea
Coach George Lamptey— Liberty Professionals, Manuel Zacharis— Bechem United coach
Coach George Lamptey— Liberty Professionals, Manuel Zacharis— Bechem United coach

Liberty Professionals goal poacher, Latif Blessing, has described Sunday’s MTN FA Cup semi-finals clash with Okwawu United as a perfect opportunity for the club to put its best foot forward and eventually win the competition for the first time in its history.

The 20-year-old striker, who is currently the joint-top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals, leads Liberty against the Division One League side on the back of his hat-trick against Hasaacas at Dansoman last Wednesday, has promised to replicate that splendid performance against Okwawu in the second semi-final match at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

“We will surely beat Okwawu United to qualify because this is a perfect opportunity to win the FA Cup,” a confident Blessing declared in an interview with the Graphic Sports.

The first of Sunday’s double header involves Bechem United and Wa Rockets who go into battle in search of a place in the MTN FA Cup final.

Okwawu, who first won the competition in 1986, are looking forward to making replicating the historic achievement of fellow Division One side Nania FC who stunned Kumasi Asante Kotoko to win the MTN FA Cup in 2011.

In their quest to consolidate their dream of lifting their first ever MTN FA Cup trophy this year, Coach George Lamptey is expected to go into the match at full strength with players such as Felix Addo, Maxwell Mensah, Edward Ebo Mends, Richard Antwi, Gerald Arkson, Bernard Arthur and Anthony Nimo.

Bechem, who reached this stage of the competition after beating Kotoko 3-2 on penalties in Kumasi, will engage Wa Rockets at 3 pm, while Liberty, who defeated Elmina Sharks 3-0 at the quarter-finals battle former Premier League campaigners, Okwawu United, at 6pm.

Okwawu, who are aiming to win their third FA Cup title after taking it in 1986 and 1994, shocked WAFA with a 1-0 victory while Wa Rockets hammered their city rivals Wa All Stars to reach the semi final.

Thier contrasting journeys to the semis notwithstanding, the Bechem United-Wa Rockets clash appear unpredictable as both teams have not made any significant strides in their various leagues this season.

While Wa Rockets are placed ninth in Zone One with 28 points, their opponents Bechem have managed only 26 points and perched on the 13th position of the Premier League log and within the relegation zone, making the results hard to call.

However, Bechem, who have seen a steady form in the second half of the season after winning two of their last five games, as well as thrashing Techiman City 2-0 last Wednesday at home, appear favourites to progress to the final.

According to the FA Cup Committee (FACC), tickets for the double-header will go for GHc3 for Popular Stand and GH¢10 for the VIP Stand.