Can Ashgold Shock Chelsea
It has been touted as the final before the grand finale by the connoisseurs, and very much so as the two MTN FA Cup semi-finalists, Ashantigold and Berekum Chelsea, are clueless regarding the outcome of this epic encounter slated for the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi Saturday.
Oseikrom fans are assured of fireworks, considering the determination by both teams to secure a place in the grand finale in a game which must surely produce a winner within the stipulated 90 minutes or after extra time per the rules of the competition.
After scraping through some difficult quarter-final clashes, both Ashantigold and Chelsea appear to weigh equally on the scale with either side having so much respect for each other ahead of this cracker.
Separate interviews with the Graphic Sports by the Chief Executive of Ashantigold, Kudjoe Fianoo, and Coach Hans van der Pluym of Chelsea Thursday revealed a high level of determination by the two clubs to outdo each other, while admitting the tough opposition on hand.
“I can say we are well prepared for this match and the boys are highly-motivated to win the FA Cup after losing the chance to win the league title”, Mr Fianoo stated.
“They (Chelsea) are a formidable side and also look like the favourites on paper but we have what it takes to hold them.”
On his part, Coach van der Pluym credited his former club for their outstanding second round performance in this season’s Premier League, confessing that Chelsea were preparing for a very tough game against Ashantigold tomorrow.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we’re very determined to win this match”, the Dutch coach with a Ghanaian citizenship assured.
Ashantigold, led by former Ghanaian international, Yaw Acheampong, booted out Hearts of Oak 5-4 on penalties at the quarter-finals after a gruelling 2-2 draw in extra time at Obuasi, while Chelsea pipped stubborn Amidaus Professionals 1-0 at the Berekum Golden City Park.
Comparatively, the two sides look equally-matched as they boast of some quality materials who have been in and out of the various national teams before.
At this stage, each club will pocket GHc5,000 appearance fee with a chance of getting even more, among other benefits, in case they book a place in the final.
The big game, which kicks off at 3pm, will be handled by referee J.A. Amenya and his assistants David Agyin and F.D. Ocansey, all of Accra, with Reginald Lathbridge of Kumasi as the fourth referee.