They got over the line after 31 of 34 games, but these five fixtures stood out for their significance along the course of their triumphant exercise.
DREAMS – KOTOKO
Kotoko were keen on securing a winning start, but with just about half an hour to the end of their opening game with Dreams, the Porcupine Warriors seemed a long way from achieving that. Teen prospect Abdul-Fatawu Issahaku had just danced his way to a goal on his Dreams debut, breaking the deadlock, and the hosts looked like bagging maximum points at their temporary home.
Inspiring a stirring late comeback, Oppong scored one goal, assisted a second, and had a hand in a third. That 3-1 victory – not nearly as comfortable as the score-line suggested – laid the foundations on which to build, and Kotoko went on to string together a run of four consecutive wins to make an early statement of intent.
KOTOKO – FAISAL
The team’s first loss of the season came six games in, at the hands of King Faisal. Defying the odds to emerge at the sweeter end of a 3-2 scoreline, Faisal prevailed against their more illustrious neighbours at a time when the latter were high-flying.
To say Kotoko were stung would be an understatement, but they reacted well in how they recovered. The season wouldn’t go all their way, they quickly learned, and Kotoko were immediately back on track. Ogum’s team wouldn’t lose another league game in the next two months, winning six of eight.
ADUANA – KOTOKO
Of those six wins, the most impressive was, undoubtedly, that which was snatched away to Aduana at the Nana Agyemang Badu I Park. Kotoko, since Aduana first became a top-flight club in 2009, had never won at that venue, but the jinx ended with a bang.
The goals Kotoko got in that fine 2-0 win – scored by Georges Mfegue and Richmond Lamptey – were, in fact, their very first in Dormaa in the Premier League. Ask those in and around the team, and they’d likely tell you that was the game that had them begin to believe that this, perhaps, could be their season.
KOTOKO – HEARTS
Beating their archrivals is the highlight of any club’s season, but this one meant even more for Kotoko. They hadn’t overcome Accra Hearts of Oak in any competition since doing so in January 2020, and another twenty-seven months would pass before they savoured that feeling again.
A contentious penalty, converted by top-scorer Franck Etouga, was the difference. Kotoko already led the league quite comfortably by then, and that result only put them more at ease; given how their next five games went – just one win – the extra breathing space proved rather useful.
ASHGOLD – KOTOKO
Another rare triumph, achieved this time in Tarkwa against Medeama, left Kotoko a solitary point away from sealing a 25th championship success. They had four chances with which to do so, the first of those coming against regional rivals Ashantigold.
The Aboakese seized the first half and threatened to absolutely ravage Kotoko. But they only scored once – quite beautifully, though – courtesy of eventual goalking Yaw Annor, affording Kotoko just enough room to wriggle free and haul themselves off the canvas.
And that they did, through centre-back Maxwell Agyemang’s thumping header after recess. Kotoko would have to wait two more games (both of which, unsurprisingly, they won) before finally getting their hands on the trophy, but they’d already made sure of a grand climax that evening in Obuasi.