Giants Asante Kotoko have reached the quarter-finals of the MTN FA Cup competition after edging the competition’s minnows – Storm FC Academy 5-3 on penalties at the Nkawkaw Park on Saturday afternoon.
Michael Osei’s men fought from behind to equalise a 15th minute setback through Bennett Ofori before Emmanuel Asante converted the winning kick of the game to win on penalties.
Kotoko’s run in the competition have been on progressing from penalty kicks, as the Kumasi-based giants reached the stage after eliminating another third-tier side AK Shion from the spot-kick.
Captain Emmanuel Twumasi Frimpong fired the hosts into a 15th minute lead with a powerful piledriver before attacker Ofori pecked the scoring in 53 minutes for the Porcupine Warriors.
Kotoko went into the game on the back of their commendable transformation under Michael Osei in the Premier League but competition’s minnows proved tough customers at the Nkawkaw Npraeso Park.
Storm showed early determination and bossed the midfield with their impressive energy-powering game but Kotoko eventually settled in the second-half, taking charge of the game and stretching it to end the regulation time in stalemate.
After Twumasi’s opener pecked Kotoko on the quarter of an hour, Storm were left to protect their lead through the agile goalkeeper Abdul Rauf who produced eye-catching saves for most parts of the second-half.
His effort resulted in as many as 12 second-half corner-kicks but Kotoko demonstrated how bad they can convert from set-pieces, squandering all chances while Obed Owusu fluffed his lines.
Youngster Isaac Mensah skied Storm’s third kick of the shoot-out while Emmanuel Asante rounded up Kotoko’s perfectly executed kicks to march on to the next stage of the competition.
Michael Osei paraded the experienced forward in attack alongside Burkina Faso international Halipha Sanogo in attack but the strikeforce failed to manufacture goals. But the former Chelsea man converted the first kick of the shoot-out for his former side.
Felix Annan marked his return from a 12-week injury lay-off by manning the post for Kotoko veteran Stephen Oduro was named on the bench for the clash.
Jubilant Fabulous fans mobbed the team’s bus after the win which has stretched their winning streak under Michael Osei who has been put in charge after the sacking of David Duncan in early April.