Saturday Jul 11, 2015. 05:43
Asante Kotoko reached their fourth FA Cup final in five years when they beat Aduana Stars 3-1 at the Sunyani Coronation Park on Friday.
The defending champions of the competition put up a brave showcase to dispatch the Dormaa-based side for the second since it was revised in 2010.
It was keenly contested match though chances were few and scanty.
Early on, Kotoko nearly profited from a goalkeeping howler when goalkeeper failed to gather a cross from the right but he recovered to parry Prince Baffoe’s header.
Dauda Mohammed was at the near post to slot home but his connection was off target.
The real first scoring opportunity fell the way of Aduana Stars when Elvis Opoku released midfielder Sadiq Abubakar but he surprisingly shot wide on 24 minutes.
Two minutes later, Kotoko replied and came close but Adams spread himself to save striker Mohammed’s attempt.
The 16-year-old, who replaced suspended Amed Adams in the Kotoko starting line-up, beat the offside trap and went on 1-on-1 with Adams but his shot into the body of goalkeeper.
Just after the half-hour mark, Christopher Bonney controlled a cleared header with his chest and then volleyed home a pile driver which beat Adams who had his fingertip to it but the shot was too powerful to be re-directed.
Aduana came close to snatching the equalizer on the nick of the half-time whistle.
Seth Opare was released inside the box by winger Daniel Darkwah but the midfielder skied his effort.
Gyamfi controlled a pass and unleashed a missile strike but goalkeeper Adams had his palm to it and it came off the cross-bar.
When Aduana Stars thought they were on top and were asking questions about Kotoko’s
On 64 minutes, Kotoko mounted an attack on the left flank when Baffoe released Dauda inside the box; the latter cleverly dribbled his marker Francis Larbi and was brought down.
Referee Isaaka Afful pointed to the spot; the Aduana Stars thought it was a harsh decision to douse their fight back.
Bonney elected himself and he expertly sent Adams the wrong way with a convincing right-footed kick.
But Aduana refused to throw their hands up in the air and continued their push to get back into the game.
Referee Afful awarded an indirect free-kick in the 70th
minute when Eric Ofori Antwi held onto the ball for long inside the box.
But Saka’s powerful kick was blocked by Akuffo and it went over for a goal kick.
Another opportunity calling on 80 minutes substitute Kwadwo Poku handled a ball inside the area and Saka scored.
The celebrations were transient as Kotoko restored their two-goal lead with an Akuffo free-kick after goalkeeper Adams brought down Mohammed close to the box with six minutes left.
That killed off Aduana’s threat and Kotoko gorgeously marched into the final to be played in Accra next month.
Kotoko will face the winner of the Medeama versus Hearts of Oak match to be played on Sunday in Cape Coast.