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24.04.2004 Football News

Big Matches Are Here With Us

By Kwasi Amo-Mensah
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This week-end is a moment of big clashes in Africa not to talk about Europe. As Manchester United face rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, a north England duel, book-makers are yet to predict the Spain cracker between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. With Bayern Munich coming up against city rivals TSV 1860 and Tottemham Hotspurs facing rivals Arsenals at the White Hart Lane, a north London duel, Ghana`s Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak, Liberty and King Faisal would also come facto-to-face with African continenetal championshp.

But for uncertainty in football, a win for Asante Kotoko against ASEC Mimosa would have been my conclusion in the Kumasi cracker on Sunday. The porcupine Warroius need a little touch to advance to the next stage of the competition and that would depend on the appropriate strategy by coach Hans Kodrik to put breaks on the attacking line of their opponents with Charles Taylor, William Tiero, Michael Osei, Frank Osei and co firing from all angles. I trust the Porpune Warrious to beat ASEC. "Wo kum apem a apem beba" would clinch victory in Kumasi. They have done it before and would do it again come Sunday.

For Hearts of Oak, their chances of getting to the next stage would be easier if complecency does not take better part of their play. Four-one is a good results for the Phobians alright but lets go by what happened to AC Millan against Deportivo in the on-going UEFA Champions League. Football is now on another level. Isn`t it? The Middendorp factor is a boost alright but I keep say that Middendorp would not be on the field of play to bang in goals for Hearts. It is against this background that Emmanuel Osei Kufuor, Ablade Morgan, Lawrence Adjei and Middendorp-transformed Louis Agyemang should go all out for goals right from start to aid the Phobian successful revenge. With victory away from home, the Angolans would really see the might of the Oak tree which "never say die".

One would say that King Faisal would have themselves to blame should they fail to qualify at the expence of their opponents, Dynamos in the African Confederation Cup championship having won the first leg away from home. Football flouts all logic anyway. Nevertheless, Eric Gawu, Abass Inusa, Idrisu Yahya among others with coach Hebert Addo should advance their play to record another victory in Kumasi.

Liberty Professionals would have to play above themselves in their must win game against Petro Huambo to qualify to the next stage. It is not every victory we expect from the Dansoman lads. A one nill win would not be a satisfaction to us since that would mean sending the match into a penalty shoot -out which can go either way in the end. A massive win is what we expect. We want Liberty to triumph 3:0 or more to add to Kotoko, Hearts and Faisal expected wins to show the rest of Africa that Ghana soccer prowees has hit a come back and is back in a grand style.

I am hopeful Liberty would give us a big win. Faisal would win. With Kotoko and Hearts giving us glory, it would a big joy in Ghana and in that post -match esctacy, if I say Fa-abulous/ Pho-obia , what would you say?

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