As the final of the MTN FA Cup draws near with just one round of matches to be played before the ultimate, teams are upping their standards to be counted among the best. One such side is league champions Hearts of Oak who are chasing the league and cup double this season after wrapping up the league a few weeks ago.
The Phobians took the league from Aduana Stars who they handed it to after being outrun by the then premier league newbies in the 2009/10 season for the title. Having waited for over a decade, they clinched the title from the same hands who took it from them but this time beating sworn rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko to it.
They are now chasing the FA Cup, a competition they hold the record as the most successful team in its history having won it a record 10 times since its inception. They are closely matched by record premier league champions Kotoko, on nine wins. They are chasing the record-extending title this season and the first since 2000 when they beat Okwawu United 2 – 0 to lift the tenth title.
On the way of the Phobians is Medeama SC who are the 5th most successful team in the competition’s history having won it twice and most recently in 2015. Both their titles came at the turn of the last decade with two wins in three years. Having failed to keep the momentum that they had in the first half of the season, they lost grounds on the league title chase and are now out to make amends in the cup.
The match between the two sides does not only promise a place in the final against either of Ashanti Gold and Berekum Chelsea but a point to prove by each side. Hearts of Oak is coached by former Medeama gaffer, Samuel Boadu who left them midway through the season with some of his technical staff. He has since established himself in the capital and endeared himself to the Rainbow club faithful. His success with the capital-based giants has but added the anger of the already peeved Mauve and Yellow fans and they would want their side to get one over his charges so they too can smile.
Mr Boadu has already managed a 2 – 0 win over his former side since departing from the Tarkwa-based side but a double over them would be welcome news for him as he continues to haunt his former side. It also was reported in recent days that Hearts of Oak enquired for the services of three of Medeama’s key performers and the Mauve and Yellow retaliated with an enquiry of their own of a trio of the Phobians central figures.
With all that in mind, it will be an interesting stage to play out an enthralling semi-final match where a win offers more than just the success on the pitch but more. A win for Medeama could convince some of the stars who would be tempted by the league champions to resist and stay if the rumoured approaches for them are anything to go by. As for the Phobians, a win will only consolidate their position make it easier for them to snap up talents from their rivals.
Who wins this tripartite battle at Cape Coast on Sunday?