Hearts of Oak clash with arch-rivals Kotoko in 'unmissable' final
Two of the greatest clubs in Ghana will make history on Sunday when Accra Hearts of Oak clash with arch-rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the MTN FA Cup final to be played at the Tamale Sports Stadium.
The much anticipated match, which has been nicknamed "Unmissable", will renew the rivalry between the two famous teams in the country, who have already played four times this season.
Hearts won twice before losing and drawing in the four matches the two sides have played this season, making this final a real test for both sides with the clash being played in Northern Ghana for the first time.
Each side will be fighting for the bragging rights, the GH¢50,000 prize money as well as a place in the CAF Confederation Cup competition for next season.
Neutral punters have been looking for the side to back for the match as the best online bookmakers and sites around the world have also been offering their predictions for the match.
The Phobians won 1-0 in the Premier League, followed by a 3-1 victory in a Ghana @ 60 match, with the Porcupine Warriors triumphing 4-1 on penalties in the President's Cup.
With Tamale hosting its first MTN FA Cup final in 60 years, both sides are bent on departing the Northern Regional capital as champions as the match climax the nation's football season with the euphoria building up nicely similar to what happened in 2004 in the title decider between the two sides.
The journey to the final of the competition began with Hearts eliminating Sporting Mirren, Kotoku Royals, Young Wise, Danbort FC and Wa All Stars while Kotoko beat BYFA, Proud United, Wassaman United, W.Nea Salamina and Medeama in the Round of 64, 32, 16, quarter finals and semi-finals respectively.
Despite being one of the sides to have won the competition most, Hearts are yet to clinch the title since it was re-introduced in 2011, and are keen to change that unimpressive record, which has also given their rivals, the bragging rights over them.
At least, Kotoko are heading into their fifth final on Sunday and have won once of the four previous attempts since 2011 .
Matches between the pair are always difficult to predict but the FA Cup records favour Kotoko as they have beaten Hearts on all the three times they have clashed in the finals in 1958, 1960 and 1990.
However, that could be the adrenalin that will push Hearts to end that heartbreak as they also seek to win the title for the first time in 17 years.
Sunday’s clash is also not just about the FA Cup. They both missed out on the Ghana Premier League title and both are desperate to claim a silverware to decorate their boardroom and, more importantly, appease their fans and make a return to Africa, where they feel they belong.
The Phobians are also keen on avenging their painful loss to Kotoko in the President's Cup this season and will be going all out on the day while the Porcupine Warriors target a good finish above their opponents after Hearts completed the league season above them.
Both coaches, Frank Nuttal of Hearts and Steven Pollack of Kotoko, are expecting an entertaining game between their sides as players such as Winful Cobinnah, Vincent Atinga, Thomas Abbey, Inusah Musah and Patrick Razak of the Phobians are expected to slug it out with Yakubu Mohammed, Amos Frimpong, Felix Annan, Obed Owusu, Sadiq Adams, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Eric Donkor and Baba Mahama of the Porcupine Warriors.