Pushed to their teetering limit, Trustees produced their most sublime display to put their berth in the final match beyond a shred of doubt.
On the back foot at the end of the first period, Trustees staged a remarkable comeback with four breathtaking goals from penalty corners to take the pressure off their backs as they await their opponents for the final match on Saturday.
The Ghanaian champions were pitched against sworn adversaries in the last of their round-robin matches on Wednesday when they needed a win to make a final berth assured.
And in a rather stunning twist to their campaign, they found Golden Sticks who had been shiftless at this Championship at their utmost best and poised to deny them a place in the final roll.
Trustees scored the opening goal through Robert Aryeetey’s drag flick from a penalty corner. However, against all odds Golden Sticks surged into the lead through a penalty corner by Richard Adjei after Joseph Appiah’s equalizer evened the score.
The goal threw fans at the National Hockey Stadium into a frenzy and left many sitting at the edge of their seat, notably players of Egyptian club Police Union who were hoping for a favour from Golden Sticks to earn a final place.
Trustees were then overly anxious as they exerted every ounce of energy in search of a quick riposte. But they had come too close to balk. They came from recess with new ideas to cut out the play of their opponents in the middle of the pitch and scored three unanswered goals.
Coach of the side, Edmund Ayertey said he anticipated the stiff opposition from Golden Sticks and revised his strategy to outdo them in the second period.
“I realized that they were dominating the midfield. So I brought on players to cut out the ball supply in the middle. That’s what won the day for us”.
Nsalbini Salya and Joseph Blankson put clinical finishes to two of the several penalty corners awarded Trustees while David Ghablah’s field goal made the victory more resounding.
Captain of the side, Aryeetey puts the victory down to hard work. “It was a tough match but we knew we would win and we worked very hard for it,” he acknowledged.
With the title now in sight the skipper is more upbeat that they have what it takes to stand whichever team they face in the finals.
“We will be the Championship here for the first time. We are likely to play Sharkia but we are not bothered. We promise Ghanaians we will win, he declared.
Police Union who were looking to play in the men’s final match, were perhaps the worse for the defeat inflicted on Golden Sticks. The Egyptians beat Strathmore 3-2 earlier on Wednesday to increase their point accrued to nine and were hoping for a Trustees slip up as they have one more game left to play at the pool stage.
In other men’s matches played on Match Day Seven, Sharkia of Egypt dealt Yobe Rollers of Nigeria a 3-0 thrashing to take their points haul to eleven with a game in hand.
Reformers drew 1-1 with Telkom Orange in the Ladies contest while Yobe Queens Sharkia triumphed over Sharkia by a 2-1 score line. Extinguishers and Heartland firmed up their participation in the women’s finals with a 2-2 draw in a dress rehearsal to Saturday’s clash.
The competition resumes with some interesting fixtures in the men’s category with the battles being fought to determine who challenges Police Union of Egypt for the Bronze medal.
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