Asante, Hearts ready to rumble
Asante, Hearts ready to rumble

Posted in News on Jun 28, 2001.

Many of the new generation of players who helped Ghana qualify for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations finals will be on view at the Vodacom Challenge in Rustenburg on June 30 and Durban on July 8.

Both Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko have provided several players who revived Ghana’s international soccer fortunes lately and helped the Black Stars book their place at the African Championships in Mali next year.

Hearts have named a formidable squad with 16 internationals in their provisional team for the trip to South Africa. Hearts take on Premier Soccer League giants Kaizer Chiefs in the first match of the double header of the Vodacom Challenge in Rustenburg at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Saturday.

In the line up are Emmanuel Osei Kuffour who was the top scorer in last year’s African Champions League, goalkeeper James Manor, who was the hero earlier this month when Ghana won 2-1 away in Zimbabwe in a vital African Cup of Nations qualifier.

Three of the Hearts squad members also played last Sunday when Ghana beat Lesotho 3-1 in their final qualifier for the Nations Cup preliminaries held in Kumasi. Ghana finished top of the group to comfortably book their tickets to the finals in Mali.

Hearts defender Foster Bastios was part of Ghana’s team that visited South Africa in 1996 for the Four Nations tournament. He was sent off in the match played in Pretoria against Bafana Bafana. Also playing in that goalless draw was Hearts captain Jacob Nettey and Osei Kuffour.

Asante Kotoko’s current internationals include Godwin Ablordey and Lawrence Adjei, who is on the verge of being signed by Russian club Spartak Moscow.

Asante also have an international in the team from Togo, Frank Atsou, who captained his country’s under-23 team when they met Amaglug-glug in the Olympic qualifiers for Sydney.

Orlando Pirates will tame on Asante in the second of the double-header matches in Rustenburg on Saturday. The first match kicks off at 12:30 and the second one at 15:30.

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