Asante Kotoko against Aduana Stars in January.

Asante Kotoko against Aduana Stars in January.

MTN FA Cup holders Asante Kotoko will have their title defence severely examined by Aduana Stars in Friday?s semi-final at the Sunyani Coronation Park.

The Porcupines have never lost any semi-final match of the FA Cup since it was revived in 2010 after a long break.

On their way to the final in 2011, Kotoko showed resilience to beat Wa All Stars 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw in extra time at the semi-final stage.

Two years later Kotoko beat Amidaus Professionals 3-1 and in 2014 they eliminated King Faisal in the semi-finals. Kotoko are taking great inspiration from these feats to beat the Dormaa based team this afternoon.

Matches between Kotoko and Aduana Stars since 2009/10 have come with huge expectation and from all signs the tempo will soar higher in today?s affair because each side is determined to reach the elusive final.

Kotoko won the competition last season and are eager to defend their crown. Aduana Stars are also hoping to get to the final for the first time.

No wonder the atmosphere is exceedingly charged.

In the last meeting between the two clubs on January 18 this year, Aduana Stars recorded a slim 1-0 victory over Kotoko at the Dormaa Park in the opening fixture of the 2014/15 First Capital Plus League but defeat stares at them at Sunyani which has been a favourable terrain for Kotoko over the years.

Aside their huge support in this area, Kotoko have a good record of winning crucial matches at the Coronation Park. On their visit to the venue on September 15, 2013, Kotoko exhibited their proverbial fighting spirit to come from a goal down to beat the same Aduana Stars 2-1 in match day one of the season?s league.

Kotoko recorded a 2-0 win against B.A United in their last visit to Sunyani on January 25, 2015. It was match day three of this season?s First Capital Plus League. The players are aiming high to protect their successful run at Sunyani against Aduana Stars this afternoon.

With Ashgold taking a comfortable lead in the league and inching closer to the ultimate, the Fabulous Boys have their eyes fully set on the FA Cup since success will surely give them the chance to play in Africa.

Records have it that no team has been to the final twice on a trot in the last five years.

Previous champions Nania FC, New Edubiase and Medeama could not make it to the final the next time round after emerging winners but defending champions Asante Kotoko are set to break that jinx today.

Coach David Duncan and his charges made clear their determination to retain their crown when they whipped lower division side Paga Crocodiles 4-0 at the round of 62 and went ahead to beat Birim DC United 5-0 (round 32).

Their subsequent encounters against RTU and Ashgold at the 1/16 stage and quarter finals respectively were tough challenges but the porcupine spirit prevailed eventually. Kotoko beat RTU 1-0 and Ashgold 2-0 both in Kumasi.

Having survived the dangerous scare posed by these stubborn teams, Kotoko are turning their blazing guns on Aduana Stars who on their way to the semi-finals eliminated Wa All Stars (3-2), Susu Biribi 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes, Istanbul FC (3-0) and Eleven Wise (3-2).

Kotoko goalkeeper, Isaac Amoako who knows the Sunyani terrain very well says Kotoko have put behind their injury worries and the recent mess in the league and have strategized for Aduana Stars.

?If Aduana believes they have the upper hand because Sunyani is in their region it?s a big mistake. We feel quite comfortable playing matches in Sunyani because it is like home. I for instance started my football career here with B.A United. We have great support here and I know the fans will inspire us to beat Aduana Stars? he noted.

The winner of Friday?s epic duel will meet the winner of Hearts-Medeama battle in the grand finale.

The two teams will battle for honours on Sunday at the Robert Mensah Stadium in Cape Coast


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