King Faisal hosted Kotoko at the Baba Yara Stadium in the first Kumasi derby and it was a controlled game for the Porcupine Warriors who blazed off their city neighbours through Steven Mukwala, Richard Boadu and Nicholas Mensah. We bring you the five things we have observed from the encounter.
Kotoko mean business
Kumasi Asante Kotoko had a brutal introduction to the season after getting kicked out of the CAF Champions League by Rail Club du Kadiogo who made life difficult for their former manager Seydou Zerbo with a shock 1-3 win in Kumasi via penalties to advance at the expense of the Ghanaian champions. That heartache was followed by a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in their first league match of the season. However, a 2-1 win over Nsoatreman before the league was suspended seems to have built the needed momentum for them to blaze aside a side that was a torn in their flesh last season at the first time of asking this season. Perfect start!
Mukwala has arrived.
Steven Mukwala was not going to be Franck Thiery Mbella Etouga but he was certainly expected to also create a mark of his own with the Porcupine Warriors. However, after a stale start to the season that included him drawing blank in the Champions League and the last two matches, the Ugandan dangerman was involved in all three goals scored by Kotoko. He first scored, then was brought down in the box after he received a pass from John Tedeku in the box, ready for the kill. Richard Boadu converted the resulting kick to send Kotoko to the break 2-0 ahead. Then he was again on hand to lay it off for Nicholas Mensah to bury the game straight from recess.
King Faisal’s dominance killed in the bud
King Faisal looked like they were on course to start a period of dominance and be torn in the flesh of their city neighbours after inflicting on them two defeats in the last three matches including two on the bounce, they have failed to live to their own standards and have failed to score in either of the last two matches against the Porcupine Warriors while conceding four in those two matches. If there is to be any chance of a new king in the Garden City then it is the Warriors who must decide but as for now, the Porcupines rule.
King Faisal may need another miracle to stay afloat
It may be too early to write any team off and even anyone thinking of writing a team off should know it cannot be King Faisal after their heroics in the last two seasons that saved them from going down. They fought to stay in the league after notching in two wins and as many draws with just a lone defeat in their last five matches of the season. That was after they escaped relegation by beating Kotoko on the last day to make it two wins and three draws in their last five matches of the season. It is, however, a terrible start to the season for the Inshallah boys who are yet to pick a point this season despite playing all four matches. They have conceded nine goals and scored just two, contrary to their form at this stage last season when they were second on the table just behind Kotoko. They had nine points from three wins by then.
Kotoko is ready to defend the title.
When Prosper Ogum Narteh left the Porcupine Warriors with just a few weeks to start the season, many were beginning to write off the league champions and Seydou Zerbo’s arrival was not a pleasant one, especially after the tumultuous start to the season. However, their dots seems to be clicking right now. The Reds are fifth after playing three matches and accumulating seven points. A win in their outstanding match will take them to the top of the table alongside Aduana Stars who are currently leading the pack with 10 points. Can they defend the league crown? It is possible. Though it is early days yet, the energy of Kotoko could be a pointer in that direction. It will be unfair to use King Faisal, a team that is in need of inspiration as a marker but a derby is always derby and it could have turned any way so credit must be given to Kotoko for taking the game beyond King Faisal win 46 minutes and it could be a big statement of intent of their desire to defend the title.