The 2019/2020 MTN FA Cup round of 64 draw threw up some intriguing pairings including unmissable derbies, one of which is that of the Ashanti region which will see Asokwa based second tie side Deportivo host record winners Asante Kotoko.
The match has been scheduled to kick off on Sunday, 23rd Februay at the Len Clay sports stadium in Obuasi, where Askokwa Deportivo and Asante Kotoko will battle it out for a round of 32 birth.
The fixture is expected to be a thrilling one spiced with ferocity and plucky as both sides have vowed to pick the slot to the next stage of the upset driven competition. Asante Kotoko with its misfiring attack, will look to bounce back to winning ways after losing their premier league week 11 fixture to defending champions Aduana Stars on Wednesday afternoon. Kotoko have managed to score only one goal in their last four (4) premier league matches which is gradually wiping off the fear factor of the team.
Their Opponents Asokwa Deportivo on the other hand, have scored a total of 10 goals in their last five (5) Division One League matches, 5 goals in their last four (4) games.
Asante Kotoko is psychologically worried over their lack of goals in recent matches and will come gun blazing against their city rivals to seek for images redemption. Unlike the games against Ashantigold SC (in Kumasi) and Aduana Stars (at Dormaa), coach Maxwell Konadu will now have a full house with most of his key players coming back from injury.
Midfielder Mudasiru Salifu who has been Kotoko’s trump card this season has fully recovered from a hamstring injury he suffered in the league match against Accra Hearts of Oak in Accra and will be available for selection against Deportivo come Sunday. Justice Blay who was ruled out of the game against Ashantigold with illness is done with his medications and is back into the team and may start on Sunday. Coach Maxwell Konadu told the press after their 1-0 loss to Aduana Stars that he is “not worried at all because the boys really played to instruction, what we told them to do they did it very well, I must be honest, the boys, they did their best”, he satisfactorily stated. The 16-year old Matthew Anim Cudjoe was rested in the game against Aduana and may return to the starting 11 against Deportivo.
Top scorer Emmanuel Osei (Diego) is in fine form ahead of the tricky game is ready to steal the show. Deportivo leading striker Asamoah Boateng Afriyie is on the rise and ready to rediscover his scoring boot against the Porcupines on Sunday. Deportivo are going into the game with high spirit, having drawn their last league match 1-1 away to Unistar Acamy in their midweek encounter of the Division One League.
Head coach Ousman Orlando and his assistant, Isaac Owusu, popularly known as Ninja, a former player for Asante Kotoko, will lead the second tier side to plot a wrinkling upset against the Porcupine Warriors.
FORM GUIDE (Last 5 matches)
Asante Kotoko has won only one of their last five (5) league matches both home and away, drawn 3 and lost 1. They scored 2 goals and conceded 2.
Asante Kotoko 1-1 Liberty Professionals
WAFA 0-0 Asante Kotoko
Dreams FC 0-1 Asante Kotoko
Asante Kotoko 0-0 Ashantigold SC
Aduana Stars 1-0 Asante Kotooko
Deportivo have won two (2) of their last five (5) matches in the second tier league, lost 2 and drawn 1. They scored 10 goals and conceded 5.
Asokwa Deportivo 5-1 BYFA
Asokwa Deportivo 2-0 New Edubiase United
Star Madrid 2-1 Asokwa Deportivo
Asokwa Deportivo 1-2 Sky FC
Unistar Academy 1-1 Asokwa Deportivo
This will be only the second time the two teams are facing each other in the MTN FA Cup competition, with the first meeting coming in the 2010/2011 season. Coincidentally, the now Asante Kotoko head coach Maxwell Konadu was then assistant coach to Serbian Bogdan Korak for the Porcupines.
In the 2011 encounter, Asante Kotoko won the match with a 3-2 scoreline to progress from the round of 32 stage to the round of 16. The two were paired again at the round of 32 stage in the 2017/2018 season with kick off date set for Sunday, June 10 at the Baba Yara sports stadium, but the match was called off after the Anas Number 12 Expose forced an eventual truncation of the competition.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Emmanuel Osei (Diego) – Deportivo vs Matthew Anim Cudjoe (Messi) of Asante Kotoko.