It was an emotional return to league action for Asante Kotoko last Sunday as thousands of fans thronged a charged stadium with familiar opponents in the biggest game on the local scene.
Sunday was the first taste of league action for the Porcupine Warriors after the tragic accident that killed their equipment officer, Kofi Asare, for whom a minute’s silence was observed before the game.
Once the action was underway, Kotoko’s lack of match practice was evident.
It was also no surprise that they were only truly in the game in the second half.
Steve Polack bore visible signs of the accident as he led the team from the bench after recovering the knee surgery he sustained.
“I’m glad the game, it couldn’t come any quicker than today,” he said.
“You feel a bit of anxiety in the crowd also before the game and also the players in the way we played in the first half but the attitude of my players is good today especially in the second half and I’m proud to say that I am their coach,” added Polack.
The 1-1 draw left Kotoko four points from Hearts of Oak and a further eight adrift of league leaders Aduana Stars but the players are not giving up on the most unlikely of league titles.
“If you are a big club like Kotoko every season you know you have to win trophies,” said goalkeeper Felix Annan.
“So, for us the league is still not over. We are going to fight to the last game and we still have the FA Cup in the quarter finals and we are just going to try our best just to win some trophies at the end of the season.”
Deputy Captain Eric Donkor – one of the two players not with the team during the accident – was also happy for their return.
“We are looking at what happened one month ago and we came back as a team with the right mentality, with the right focus to play against Accra Hearts of Oak so I will say we are prepared and we are back to the game,” said Eric Donkor.
Whatever happens, Kotoko have won the most important battle; the ability to return from the horrible experience of July 12.
By Nana Akua Amankwaa|TV3|3news.com|Ghana