By Ameenu Shardow
New Edubiase defied all odds to win the 2012 MTN FA Cup title after beating AshantiGold at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
A second half strike by captain Moro Ibrahim was enough to earn the Berkwai-based side their first major silverware without conceding a goal throughout the campaign.
Edubiase were the quickest out of the blocks with Basit Adams testing the pores of AshGold goalkeeper Fataw Dauda in just the second minute.
But the 27-year-old glovesman was up to the task ? going low to save the goal-bound shot.
The Miners responded almost immediately with a chance of their own but striker Yakubu Mohammed?s header was feeble and off target.
The game after its exhilarating start went through a very stale phase with several tackles flying in.
It was therefore not surprising when AshGold midfielder Eric Opoku was booked for a needles lunge on Asiedu Attorbrah in the 11th minute.
Again Dauda scored full marks in the 17th minute saving another well-struck shot from Basit who had taken a long ball from defence well into his stride shrugging off his marker.
Aaron Amoah should have edged the Miners ahead three minutes later but his curled shot from the edge of the Edubiase box was always rising away from goal.
Henri Traore was next to go into the book of referee Joseph Lamptey after another needless challenge on Basit Adams in the 23rd minute.
Nana Poku was gifted golden chance to open the scoring for AshGold in the 30th minute after a he met a delightful cross from the wings but his half volley struck the upright and veered off in agony.
Stephen Manu then came close to opening the deadlock in the 38th minute but his 20-yard shot fizzled off the turf away from goal very much to the disappointment of the few Edubiase fans in the stands.
Referee Lamptey this time round was deemed too harsh in flashing another yellow card to Edubiase?s Awoosom Abeiku for a sliding tackle just outside his penalty area.
The resulting free kick taken by Yakubu Mohammed was struck with venom but was always rising ? that was the final piece of serious action in the first half as both teams went into recess drawing blank.
The second half started in a very subdued manner until referee Lamptey awarded a free kick to New Edubiase just outside the AshGold penalty area.
Up-stepped captain Moro Ibrahim who rifled the free kick hard and low past the outstretched Fatau Dauda to register the first goal in the 50th minute.
The goal prompted a quick change by AshGold coach Yaw Acheampong who brought on striker Alex Asamoah for quiet Nana Poku.
An increasingly frustrated Eric Opoku was sent off just on the hour mark after his second bookable offence in another needless challenge on a New Edubiase player.
Stephen Manu could have easily doubled Edubiase?s lead in the 63rd minute after an impressive chest control on a long ball from the back. His volley off balance however missed the target.
Moro Ibrahim was then booked a minute later for excessive complaints.
Edubiase coach Anthony Commey then brought on Samed Ibrahim for Sakyi Quaye to shore up his rear guard in the 65th minute.
Bernard Ofori took the place of Asiedu Attorbrah shortly after, giving a great indication of coach Commey?s intention to defend his goal.
Edubiase went on to do what they do best especially when in winning situations ? snuffing out the attack of their opponents for the remainder of the game to win the competition t the admiration of many.
Once more again the overwhelming underdog clinches the title and will now represent Ghana at next season?s Caf Confederations Cup.