It is extremely sad and painful to go an entire domestic season without winning a trophy especially if a club is regarded as one of the biggest. The 2020/21 Ghana Premier League was a platform for all 18-clubs to win the league title. Hearts of Oak were chasing their first ever and 21st league title in 11-years and Asante Kotoko were eying an opportunity to break their eight year trophy drought. Medeama were equally lurking dangerously to want to claim their first ever league title. Great Olympics were the favourites for the title after they were tipped by many. Other clubs like, Karela United, AshantiGold, Aduana Stars and even Berekum Chelsea were equally in the picture with the aim of winning the league title.
However, the race was limited to Ghana’s two biggest clubs, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko in the dying embers of the season. At a point, both clubs were neck-to-neck on points but it was the Phobians who needed it the most after showing much hunger. The Phobians eventually came out as victors, beating Kotoko to the league title to win it for the first time in 11-years and their 21st title.
However, things did not go as planned for Kotoko who equally wanted to win the league title and return to Africa. With Hearts of Oak representing Ghana in the 2021/22 CAF Champions League, Asante Kotoko’s hopes of representing the nation in continental football lay elsewhere. The record Ghana Premier League title holders needed to play in Africa after failing to glitter on several occasions. The only opportunity left for them was the MTN FA Cup. The Porcupine Warriors wove their way from the last 16 with mixed performances. They however managed to beat lower tier side, Asokwa Deportivo in the last 16 to book a quarter final slot. Following a difficult pairing, Asante Kotoko were pitted against fellow premier league side, Berekum Chelsea.Berekum Chelsea on the other hand also wove their way through to the quarter finals after bypassing some tough opposition.
The road was now clear for Asante Kotoko to fight their way through to the semi finals of MTN FA Cup and probably win it and return to Africa to play in the CAF Confederation. Kotoko it would be recalled were in the CAF Confederation Cup in 2004 when Hearts of Oak dropped from the CAF Champions League to set up an all Ghanaian finals. The finals of of the two legs finished 2-2 on aggregate setting up a penalty shootouts to determine the winner at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. Hearts of Oak defied the home crowd in Kumasi to beat their rivals 8-7 after the entire shootouts to claim the maiden CAF Confederation which was equally termed the “virgin cup.” Kotoko were left cursing their stars after seeing Hearts of Oak play in the CAF Super Cup once against Enyimba of Nigeria in 2005 but the Phobians lost 2-0 at the Aba Stadium.
The fine opportunity presented itself for Kotoko to book a continental chance but they fluffed it eventually after losing the quarter finals of the MTN FA CUP to former Ghana champions, Berekum Chelsea. Both sides went into action at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium on Sunday in a bid to earn a semi final slot. The entire ninety minutes ended goalless after Asante Kotoko wasted a penalty kick from the boot of Brazil import, Fabio Gama. After the ninety minutes, the game went into extra time with both sides failing to score again. It was time for the penalty shootouts after the entire 120 minutes of action. Berekum Chelsea were superior to Kotoko eventually after Kotoko wasted a kick to end it 5-4 after the shootouts in favour of Berekum Chelsea. The result meant that Kotoko have gone the whole 2020/21 league season without a domestic trophy. The only chance left for them is to hope that Hearts of Oak win the MTN FA CUP so they will play in CAF Confederation Cup as the second placed Ghana Premier League club. However it was a sad ending for the Porcupine Warriors for season 2020/21 after missing out on the league title and the FA CUP as well.