Kumasi Asante Kotoko defeated dark horses of the maiden GFA Tier One Special Competition, Karela United, 4-2 on penalties at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi yesterday to pick Ghana's sole ticket for next season's CAF Champions League. The two sides were tied on 1-1 after 90 minutes of play following goals by former "wonder boy" of AshantiGold, Emmanuel Baffour, for Karela in the 49th minute and a controversial penalty converted by Abdul Fatawu Safiu Fataw for Kotoko in the 73rd minute.
It was Kotoko's second silverware in less than a month after defeating long standing rivals, Asec Mimosas to lift the Otumfuo 20th anniversary Cup.
Karela, notwithstanding their loss, appeared to be well drilled and deserving winners until their lead was cancelled.
They possessed the ball for most of the time, took charge of the midfield but luck eluded them.
Indeed, they surrendered the trophy to Kotoko the moment they abandoned their attacking football to defend the narrow lead.
Kotoko swung into top gear barely a minute after kick off but Abdul Fatawu Safiie overindulgence robbed his side of an early goal.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko crushed rival Hearts of Oak’s dream of representing Ghana in next year’s CAF Champions League when they gained a 5-4 penalty win over their bitter opponents in their semi-final Normalisation Committee Special Tier 1 competition at the Accra Sports stadium.
Former Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi says he has been made stronger by the challenges that brought his dominance in African and world football to an ignominious end, adding that he never wavered during the turbulent times of his life.