Kotoko vs Nsoatreman: will the Porcupine Warriors finally fight?

Estimated read time 3 min read

To state that the Ghana Premier League is now a balanced one with each team capable of reaching the top is an understatement. But the truth is, there are no upsets in the Premier League these days. What could be considered an upset may be Accra Hearts of Oak or Kumasi Asante Kotoko beating Bofoakwa Tano or Nations FC. They are in their debut seasons in the league with Nations FC especially tasting its first-ever elite football. At least Bofo is a veteran in the league only recently getting relegated in 2007, less than two decades ago.

Asante Kotoko after storming to the title in 2022 has failed to match that energy. A disastrous campaign in Africa and defeat in the FA Cup summed it up as they surrendered the league to Medeama SC. Medeama’s success cannot be downplayed as an event of chance. They did the unthinkable by ditching Aduana Stars and Bechem United off the top to claim the title with five more points than the Ogya Boys. But that all goes to tell of how the majority of the top teams have been inconsistent of late.

Fans of the Porcupine Warriors are now accustomed to defeats and walking out of the stadium with their heads down rather than shouting for victories. They have always remained adamant that the “Kum apem, apem beba” will work but if that is true, their archrivals Hearts of Oak can offer better explanations.

Kotoko may not be in crisis judging by the table. They are placed ninth with 10 points, five less than league leaders Aduana Stars who have played one match more. A win could see Kotoko move to within two points of the summit so it is not as bad as thought.

But that is not all. The club tried to shake off its disastrous last season by re-appointing Dr Ogum Narteh who led them to the title two years ago. However, the reunion was not so perfect as they started off with two draws and defeat before securing victories in the next two games. Those wins against Accra Lions and Aduana Stars remain their only jewel. Since those victories, the team has failed to win again, dropping points against Nations FC and Bechem United, the former ending in shame as violence ensued after the match.

Going into this match, Kotoko faces a stern test of their rebuilding. Nsoatreman is third in the league and has played one match less than their guest today. With only one defeat, a draw and four wins, it is breathing down fire on Aduana Stars at the top while kicking back those from below it. It must also be noted that the club has only conceded two goals in those six matches. Those goals were conceded when they lost against Hearts of Oak in week two and in the draw against Dreams FC in the week three delayed fixture.

Kotoko’s consolation can be that, Nsoatreman seem to still respect the traditional ‘big’ clubs. It lost against Accra Hearts of Oak, one of only two wins the Phobians got all season. It means the fear of playing against the traditional heavyweights still works against teams like Nsoatreman that seem to have adjusted well to the league after just one season.

Will it be the Porcupine Warriors that will kickstart their rebuild or Nsoatreman that will continue their magical start to the season?

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