By Prince Dulzy
Yaw Arnol scored a brace to give Bechem United their maiden FA Cup crown as Okwahu United suffered yet another defeat in an FA Cup final.
Sixteen years ago Okwahu United were denied victory in the FA Cup final against Hearts of Oak, losing 2-0 to a team that went on to win treble that same year including the Caf Champions League.
This year’s final was played at the newly built Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday evening, and supporters from the length and breath of the country made the stadium colourful as both teams fought to lay their hands on the prestigious trophy.
Okwawu United’s coach Ibrahim Merigah was hoping to become one the few to win the FA Cup both as a player and as a coach. Okwahu United would have joined the likes of Nania FC to become the second lower division side to win the FA Cup.
However, coach Manuel Zacarias who was more than determined to make history with Bechem United, by becoming the first coach to win the FA cup with the Brong Ahafo outfit fired his boys up to upset the former champions the chance of winning the title for the third time.
— Sports5050 (@GHsports5050) 4 September 2016
Video credit: @GHPLLive
Yaw Arnol gave Bechem United the lead in the 54th minute but, after Alfred Nelson smashed a free kick against the post with goalkeeper Abass Mohammed completely beaten.
Okwahu United were also denied by the post, but later on in the 63rd minute Akoto Donsu gave them the equalizer.
Yaw Arnol scored the winning goal, his second of the night through an assist from Abednego Tetteh, who gave the Okwawu United defence difficult times.
It was Okwahu United who started brighter and could have taken the lead after six minutes when they struck the woodwork and Maclean Ampadu also wasted an opportunity when he was picked up by a ball from the midfield, yet he missed the target with just Prince Asempa to beat in the Bechem United post.
The first half was very balanced and neither team could find the back of the net. Bechem United tried attacking several times but resolute defending from the Division one side Okwahu Utd prevented them from creating any serious chances.
It was Bechem who looked more dangerous, but they just couldn’t get the ball pass the well composed defence of Okwahu United. They tried several through passes but goalkeeper Abass Mohammed was always alert.
Bechem United enjoyed plenty of the possession, but struggled to muster a response, and at some point playing at a sluggish pace and finding no space behind a compact Okwahu defence.
In-form striker Abednego Tetteh was lost for a while in the first half as Okwawu United defenders kept close eyes on him and closed him down any time he was with the ball. It gave an opportunity for Yaw Arnol to have enough space to dazzle his opponents and really combined effectively with Abotsi in the process to give the defencemen of Okwawu United torrid moments.
Bechem United continued to press and Alfred Nelson almost found the opener but was denied by the crossbar after 30 minutes of play.
The momentum seemed to be with Bechem but Okwahu went close before the final whistle as Akoto Donsu headed a ball into the net but was unfortunate the flag was already up offside.
Okwahu United resisted Bechem attack. Yaw Abotsi tries a shot but was weak and calmly picked by the goalkeeper of Okwahu, Abass Mohammed who sends a long ball inside the half of Bechem.
Referee blows his whistle for half time.
In the second half, Bechem United piled more pressure on Okwahu United in search of a first goal. Bechem already had a chance in the early minutes of the second half when Arnol with a run at goal but was stopped by a well defence of Okwahu.
Minutes later Abednego Tetteh with a great cross found Yaw Arnol and with only the goalkeeper to beat he shot the ball over the crossbar to give Okwawu United a big sigh of relief.
Bechem United continued their dominance with talisman Abednego Tetteh operating from the left side of attack to destabilise Okwawu United.
Yaw Arnol gave Bechem United the lead in the 54th minute when he dribbled past Okwahu United’s defenders before he struck powerfully from outside the 18-yard box into the back of the net on the blind side of Okwahu’s goalkeeper Abass Mohammed.
Okwahu United in their bid to equalize started attacking and in less than 10 minutes after Arnol’s goal, restores parity in the 62nd minute through Akoto Danso who tapped in a nice cross from Ernest Asare.
Soon after their equalizer, Okwahu’s coach Ibrahim Merigah replaced Isaac Kwarteng with Toffic Seidu in the 65th minute in an attempt to control the game.
Okwawu United took over possession after the equaliser and created some decent opportunities in the goal area of their opponent.
Needing to change the tempo, Bechem’s coach Manuel Zacarias also introduced Osei Bonsu in the 73rd minuted, bringing out Hamza Mohammed and in less than a minute Bechem United found the match winner against the run of play.
Abednego Tetteh robbed a defender of the ball and put Yaw Arnol through and he made no mistake as he finished off perfectly to win the day for the Bechem boys in the 74th minute.
Tetteh should have made it 3-1 for his side when a defender gifted him a pass in the 18-yard box, yet his strike went over the crossbar. He was replaced by Yaw Ackah with only 5 minutes to go.
The clock started ticking fast on Okwawu United who mounted pressure on Bechem United but they just couldn’t find space in their defence.
In the closing minutes Jacob Sarfo replaced Ernest Asare, but the change wasn’t enough for Okwahu United as the match ended 2-1 in favour of Bechem United.
Bechem United pocket GHC 40,000 as winners, while the Okwahu United console themselves with GHC 15,000.
Bechem United is now qualified automatically to represent Ghana in the CAF Confederation Cup in next season.
By Prince Dulzy
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