Sadick Adams scored a first-half hat-trick to fire Asante Kotoko to a 3-1 win over sworn rivals Hearts of Oak in the 2016/17 MTN FA Cup final on Sunday.
The striker led the Porcupine Warriors to the remarkable result and their ninth FA Cup title with goals just after the opening minute, half-hour and the third minute of added time before Thomas Abbey scored a second half consolation goal for the Phobians.
The Porcupines’ high-pressing paid off quiet early at the Tamale Stadium which was hosting the Cup final for the first time.
Kwame Boahene capitalized on a poor defensive decision by Richard Akrofi to feed Adams – the former Atletico Madrid youth striker took a calm control before slotting home under 90 seconds.
Kotoko continued to pin Hearts at the back forcing the Phobian backline to double up but they soon broke down under pressure. Just within the half-hour mark, Hearts of Oak’s Akrofi was again caught on the wrong foot leading to him committing a penalty. He fell Obed Owusu in the box.
Sadick Adams elected himself and converted from the spot – Hearts goalie Ben Mensah got his direction right but could not stretch enough to stop the ball from entering his net.
It became 3-0 in first-half added time. A swift break by Kotoko saw Sadick Adams get the better of Hearts centre-back Vincent Atinga, went past an on-rushing Mensah before passing the ball into an empty net.
A tactical change for Hearts in the second half saw them come in strongly as they pushed for a comeback. The introduction of Cosmos Dauda meant the Phobians were going for broke with two strikers up front. They dominated with Patrick Razak and Kwame Kizito firing from long range on a number of occasions.
Captain Thomas Abbey pulled one back in the 59th minute as he rose high to head in a neat cross from Fatawu Mohammed.
And that was Hearts could get from the game as Kotoko held on to win 3-1 after the final whistle.
For their FA Cup triumph, Asante Kotoko received a GH¢50,000 prize money and as well take, Ghana’s only slot at next year’s Caf Confederation Cup. Kotoko will also receive a cash of GH¢100,000 from FA Cup sponsors MTN for their preparations for the Caf inter-club competition.
Hearts XI: Ben Mensah – Fatawu Mohammed, Joshua Otoo, Vincent Atinga, Richard Akrofi – Leonard Tawiah, Malik Akowuah/50’ Cosmos Dauda, Patrick Razak, Thomas Abbey ©, Winful Cobbina – Kwame Kizito
Kotoko XI: Felix Annan – Augustine Sefa, Amos Frimpong, Ahmed Adams, Awal Mohammed – Jackson Owusu, Seth Opare/78’ Edwin Tuffour – Emmanuel Gyamfi/90’ Baba Mahama, Kwame Boahene, Obed Owusu – Sadick Adams/90+4’ Yakubu Mohammed