Tuesday, July 20 was marked as Eid holiday nationwide but in Sekondi-Takoradi, it was a day for the MTN 25th anniversary Twin City fest cup featuring Division One league club Sekondi Hasaacas and Division 2 League Club Sekondi Eleven Wise. This was a memorable local Derby.
The build-up for this special match saw massive Media attention.
Following the official launch on the 7th of July, the excitement for this old tradition not experienced for the past four years, started boiling with Hasaacas Supporters teasing Eleven Wise that they were contemplating fielding their Female team, Hasaacas Ladies to subdue the show masters because they are no longer in their class.
Fast forward to Match Day, this local derby did not disappoint in terms of patronage on air with almost all Western Region FM radio stations and New Day TV broadcasting the event live, online on MTN Facebook wall, StarTv, and NewDay Facebook wall were on top of the restricted numbers admitted at Gyandu Park.
The awesome MTN branding transformed the ambience of Gyandu Park. The opening ceremony featuring Masquerades and Brass Band thrilling fans and a special kick off by the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah ably supported by Chairman of GFA MTN FA Cup Committee and Western Region Sports Board, Wilson Arthur, MTN Senior Manager for Marketing, Planning and Analytical, Sopiimeh Guido and Frank Addae, MTN Mobile Money Implementation Manager for Western and Western North, CEOs of Hasaacas and Sekondi Eleven Wise.
On the pitch, this local derby started with players showing a lot of nerves. In the opening minutes of the game, Hasaacas were slightly ahead. But when Sekondi Eleven wise settled after the 15th minute, momentum shifted with the Show Masters taking control of the midfield and dominating attack until they took the lead.
The first goal was scored from a corner kick which was flicked by Wise attacker Frank Owusu Ansah.
After the recess, Hasaacas retuned more determined to cancel the lead.
It took a 25 metres well placed free kick by Hasaacas offensive midfielder Ibrahim Sanah for the Gyandu Park stands to roar in unison ‘goaloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo’.
After the equaliser, the youthful Sekondi Eleven Wise midfielders became energetic, frantically trying to open up the resolute Hasaacas experienced defensive wall to find the winner.
Maturity was in the way of ambition of the Show Masters. The game went into penalties after the pulsating 1:1 regular play time outcome, which could not decide who would lift the MTN 25th Anniversary Cup and walk away with the bragging rights for a year.
During the penalty kicks, ironically the Hasaacas goal scorer Ibrahim Sanah and the potential most valuable performer of the day, Captain Abeiku Ainuson saw their kicks hit the bar of the poles and not entering the net.
On the other hand, the first four players of Sekondi Eleven Wise scored from the penalty spot to send their fans chanting “moral moral for the masters, let them speak bad about us, don’t mind them, don’t mind them, we only play the football, see the masters, see the masters on the pitch of play defeating our enemies, Masters, we are the Masters, Famous, we are the famous, We know no Juju, except the Lord who made us all, We know no Juju, except the Lord who made us all.”