An intense battle is once again expected on Saturday 27th January when perennial rivals Telkom and Ghana Revenue Authority face off in the finals of hockey Africa Cup for Club Championships (ACCC) at the at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana.
The two sides have in recent years been fighting each other for the continental trophy and this year’s edition is no different following qualification by the two.
Telkom will be on the hunt for a tenth title while GRA bank on home advantage to secure a maiden triumph.
Since 2012, GRA have lost to Telkom three times in the semifinals. They first went down 2-1 in the 2013 edition that was staged in Kampala before losing by the same margin a year later in Bulawayo. A 2-0 loss to the same opponents in 2015 dumped them out of tournament that was being played in Lusaka, Zambia.
The Ghanaians have also lost twice to Telkom in the finals, first a 4-2 post-match penalties loss in 2012 and last year’s edition where the Kenyans cruised to a 2-0 win on home soil.
Ever since beating GRA in the 2012 finals, Telkom have not surrendered the title and are confident of extending the impressive run on Saturday.
They qualified for the finals by merit of topping the table standings with 13 points from five games.
With the Kenyan Hockey League trophy already under their belt, the Jos Openda coached side will be seeking nothing short of victory to cap off a remarkable year of hockey.
The Kenyan side draw motivation from the narrow 1-0 win they registered against the same opponents in the group stage.
Can they sail to a record tenth continental title? That will be confirmed in a days’ time.
GRA ladies on their part are out to end Telkom’s five-year dominance on the continental front and this year’s edition is a perfect platform to do just that. The Ghanaian champions have a slight advantage as the tourney is being played on home turf and they are therefore set to enjoy overwhelming support from local fans.
Customs, as they are locally known, finished three points behind Telkom to book their spot in the finals.
Boakye Yiadom ‘s side has suffered a total of six back-to-back defeats to the Kenyans since 2012 and is yet to lift the Africa Cup for Club Championships trophy.
GRA made their Africa Cup for Club Champions debut in 2008, winning a bronze medal in that edition. The team has since gone on to win two silver medals in 2012 and 2016 with three other bronze medals in 2013, 2014 and 2015.