THE fate of Herbert Addo as coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko hangs in the balance after his side lost by a lone goal to rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in an MTN GHALCA Top 4 first leg tie at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday.
He is billed to meet the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Asante Kotoko today to explain why he failed to produce the winning formula against Hearts of Oak, and indications were that the management could announce major changes in the technical direction of the club.
But while some fans are calling for the coach’s exit, others insist he should be made to stay to ensure continuity.
Ghana’s football superpowers, Hearts and Kotoko, have a history of sacking coaches anytime one loses against the other. The latest victim was Kosta Papic who was booted out of Hearts after Kotoko defeated them 1-0 in their last league match in Accra.
Perhaps it was against that background that in the build-up to Sunday’s match, Hearts of Oak fans kept firing from all angles that they would force the Kotoko management to sack Herbert Addo.
And as Addo awaits his fate, Nii Noi Thompson could be on his way to securing a formal contract with Hearts of Oak after effectively guiding his side to overcome Asante Kotoko.
The Kotoko coach said his side played well but failed to get the goals, making specific reference to the attack which could hardly click.
“Samad and Alex (Asamoah) did not blend well. They have just started playing together and I think with time they will get better.
“There are four matches to go and we have to go back to the drawing board on our finishing,” Addo said after the match.
For Thompson, he insists that his tactics won the day, and paid tribute to his players for playing to instructions.
“I asked them to close in at the middle to prevent the Kotoko midfield from supplying the balls to the attack and they did just that.”
Clearly, the Hearts midfield machine operated well with Ishmael Aryee and Theophilus Apoh in supreme command of affairs, and no wonder Kotoko’s Jordan Opoku was lost in that department, leading to his substitution on the 75th minute.
But the day belonged to Bernard Don Bortey who produced that fabulous goal from a free-kick on the 10th minute.
Wearing a fresh haircut, the experienced forward operated with great speed, technique and exceptional vision, and he was unlucky not to have had a personal second after evading the Kotoko defence inside added time.
“I am that I am, ” Don Bortey said after the match, and added that he was happy to be back to Hearts of Oak.
The Hearts rear men of Bernard Coffie, Tetteh Nortey, Karim Alhassan and Ebenezer Tetteh played superbly to make sure that Alex Asamoah, Samad Oppong and Francis Coffie and Edward Affum were stripped of their venom.