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04.12.2005 Football News

Bofoakwa Tano are "OPEEMU" Champions.

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Sunyani, (B/A), Dec. 4, GNA - Premier League Club, Bofoakwa Tano on Friday beat their local rivals, national First Division side, B.A. United by six goals to five (6-5) on penalties to lift the first-ever "Opeemu" Kasapreko championship trophy in a special friendly challenge match at the Sunyani Coronation Park. The match was organised by the management of Kasapreko Company Limited, manufacturers of assorted distilled drinks as part of the Company's official launch of "Opeemu" bitters, a new brand product of the Company.

Bofaokwa were presented with a cheque of 20 million cedis, a football and 15 assorted products of the Company while B.A. United received a cheque for 10 million cedis, a football and 10 assorted products of the company.

The free gate and incident-free match, which was watched by over 600,000 spectators with heavy security presence proved not only entertaining and delightful but also devoid of the usual confusion and violence that is usually associated with matches between the two teams. Obvious of such previous hostilities between the two sides, the organizers of the encounter, which was dubbed "Who is Opeemu - Bofoakwa Tano or B.A. United?" decided to call in a neutral referee, O.K. Manu of Kumasi to officiate the match.

Referee Manu is remembered for winning the Ghana League Club Association's (GHALCA's) award at the last Top Four competition as the best referee and no wonder he exhibited fairness and strict compliance of the rules of game to ensure that the game was devoid of any form of rowdiness.

The tow teams fielded all their top players but started the game cautiously and ensuring that they played it safe in their goal areas to avoid making any slip to concede any goals to end the first half goalless.

Cheered on by the vociferous supporters it was B.A United who split the first blood when the second half resumed after their danger man, Abedi Sarfo beat 'Bofo's' keeper, Shaibu Mohammed with a thunderous shot in the 65th minute for the opener Bofokwa who were incensed by the goal attacked like wounded tigers and with their pride as a Premier side at stake the attackers threw everything into attack and accordingly leveled up the scores when Yaw Antwi's perfect power-driven shot beat B.A's goalkeeper Lawrence Neequaye in the 73rd minute.

The spontaneous cheers that greeted Bofoakwa's equalizer could have been heard than told as the whole park was turned shouts of "Otobilla", "Otobilla", "and Otobilla" 'Bofo's nick name. After the equalizer, the two sides went into an all attacking game in search of the winning goal that failed to come their way till the final whistle.

As the mandatory penalty kicks was applied, the two teams converted all their kicks to come at level terms, however, Bofoakwa scored their sixth kick while B.A.'s goalkeeper, Neequaye who elected himself for the deciding slot painfully missed the target, thus paving the way for Bofoakwa to emerge the winner of the "Opeemu" memorable Cup.

The 'Bofo' supporters danced to live music provided by Space FM amidst the singing "We are the Opeemu", "We are the Opeemu", "We are the Opeemu", in response to the competition's slogan of, "Who is Opeemu Club in Brong-Ahafo - Bofoakwa Tano or B/A. United?"

Mr. Kwame Amankwah, Area Sales Manager in-charge of Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions, Mr.Agyei Manu, Head of Sales and Marketing and Mr. Tab Mensah the Brong-Ahafo Regional Representative of Kasapreko Company Limited distributed the prizes to the two teams.

The Area Sales Manager told the GNA Sports that the challenge match, apart from heralding the launch of the Company's new brand "Opeemu" empowerment bitters product in the Region, also served as a way of showing appreciation for the hard works of farmers and fishermen in the region. Mr. Amankwah said that Brong-Ahafo Region ranked high in terms of patronage of the Company's products and assured the people of the region of his outfit's continued sound and genuine business.

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