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MTN Ashantifest Community Soccer

Ejisu beat Santasi to win 2023 MTN Ashantifest Community Soccer tournament

Ejisu defeated Santasi 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout to become the 2023 MTN Ashantifest Community Soccer champions after coming from behind to force a 1-1 stalemate in the final in Kumasi on Sunday.

Ejisu, debutants and the first team from outside Kumasi to compete in this tournament since its inception in 2021 became the latest recipient of a glittering trophy, GH₵20,000 (twenty thousand Ghana Cedis) cash, medals and MTN souvenirs as this year’s hugely expanded competiton came to a successful close at the Dichemso Otumfuo Park in the Ashanti Regional capital..

Ejisu captain receives the giant trophy for the winners of the 2023 MTN Ashantifest Community Soccer tournament

It didn’t come easy though as they battled the highly fancied Santasi who until the semi final, boasted the only 100% record in an unprecedented 16-team competition.

True to form, Santasi were first to score when dangerman Enock Morrison curled a superb freekick in the 55th minute which gave goalkeeper Fatau Seidu no chance.

Ejisu’s vociferous army of fans however did not give up and kept on chanting in support of their team until Rauf Abubakar struck in a vital equaliser after 70 minutes.

Neither side could be broken again by the other as the match travelled the full distance into the dreaded shootout from the spot, by which Ejisu eventually prevailed in a competition that spanned two months.

Ejisu now succeed maiden winners in an 8-team tournament, Abrepo and last year’s champ when it increased to 12 teams, Tafo.

Santasi had no choice than to take home the ten thousand Ghana (GH₵10,000) and MTN souvenirs on offer as the second placed team after a decider watched by some famous former footballers and coaches including Samuel Boadu, Paa Kwesi Fabin, Kwesi Appiah, Abdul Razak ‘Golden Boy’ as well as Black Stars and Asante Kotoko goalie, Ibrahim Danlad.

There were no happy endings for the hosts after they were thumped 3-1 by high-flying Kwadaso in the match for third place to miss out on the GH₵5,000 plus MTN souvenirs on offer for the victor.

“It had been an interesting journey which saw a display of great talents and also brought communities together in a very competitive but friendly atmosphere,” said Senior Manager, Brands and Communications at MTN, Germain Naatey in his closing remarks.

“MTN remain committed to the growth of sports in this country, we’ll continue to provide the platform for young people to excel. We look forward to a bigger event next year,” he added.

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