If there is a spirit that has perpetually haunted Ghana football and bittered the feeling of this football-crazy nation for years, it’s certainly a spirit that lies from just twelve yards.
Penalty kicks represent the most tension-filled moment in all sports. Penalty kicks are theater. Two actors, the penalty taker and the goalkeeper, stand face to face. Destiny itself is in the balance. The spotlight is on them, like two boxers, and some glorious or ruinous outcome will transpire in just a few moments.
Last Sunday in Ghana’s Super Clash, Asante Kotoko squandered yet another penalty in just two minutes of the game.
For Kotoko, this is the second time in about two weeks another penalty was wasted when Kwame Opoku’s unappealing kick was saved by Richard Atta.
Opoku step up to take that crucial penalty wanting to make a strong statement for himself. He step back, appearing calm. Opoku took several slow steps, then one quick one, then his final steps before swinging his right boot through the ball, sending it towards the right side of the goal. But unfortunately, Atta did his best to save the kick for Hearts of Oak.
When it comes to penalty expert over the years in Kotoko, three names crop up. Frimpong Manso, Godwin Ablordey and Amos Frimpong. These players have carved a niche in what is deemed as the most tricky and difficult part of the goal.
Today I take a look at Kotoko’s first four penalty takers.
The Guinea International is Kotoko’s first choice penalty taker, and he has been stupendous until his last kick which was saved by ES Sètif goalkeeper in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The high-flying central defender is one of Asante Kotoko penalty expert. During the era of Amos Frimpong, the former Karela United’s stalwart was his deputy when it comes to penalty kicks and he is only behind Naby Keita due to injury.
Ganiu is yet to squander a penalty at Kotoko.
The highfaluting right-back has been flying over with stunning showings in the ongoing Ghana Premier League and he is another skilled penalty taker at Kotoko.
He is the third on the list and also good at taking free kicks.
The fourth penalty-taker at Kotoko is another phenomenal performer, Razak Abalora. The goalkeeper is in some brilliant form for the Porcupines-keep four clean sheets in the League so far. The product of West Africa Football Academy ( WAFA) is genius in penalty kicks despite being a goalkeeper.
Surprisingly, Kwame Opoku, who took last Sunday’s penalty against Hearts is not part of the first four, but is fifth on the list.