Sunday 20th September, 1987 marked exactly 33 years since the Porcupine Warriors walloped Zamalek 5-1 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in a game dubbed the Super Miracle of Kumasi.
Abdul Razak, who inspired Ghana to win the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and subsequently won the African best player that year was the leader of the heroic Asante Kotoko team of 1987.
'Golden Boy' as he is affectionately called has opened up on how he inspired the Kumasi giants to stage one of the most famous victories in the annals of the Porcupine Warriors.
“We were dedicated and that did the trick for us. It is usual to lose in an away fixture in the CAF Champions League,” he told Pulse Ghana in an exclusive interview.
“We lost 2-0 in Cairo and we returned home, we decided to go all out and get the desired results.
“However, we had a setback in the early minutes of the game when Zamalek got the opener. It meant we had to score 4 goals to overturn the results.
“After conceding the first goal I run to pick the ball from the net to motivate my teammates that it was possible for us to stage a comeback".
Abdul Razak commended the role of the referee in preventing the Egyptians from resorting to delaying tactics.
“The referee played a key role in the game. When Zamalek took the lead, their goalkeeper decided to resort to the usual North Africans delaying tactics to buy time by lying down after grabbing every single ball.
“But the referee acted fast by flashing his card, so the goalkeeper sat up and he stopped the delaying tactics to avoid being sent off," he added
He added that Kofi Abbrey was at his best with his incisive set-pieces to locate his teammates.
“We got the first three goals from Kofi Abrey’s corner. He floated the ball in such a way that the Zamalek goalkeeper found himself wanting in the post," Razak said.
“Sarfo Gyamfi, Prince Polley captalised on the flaws of the goalie on the day to score the first three goals from Abbrey’s corner. He was substituted after the first half, but that didn’t stop us from mauling them.
“I recently met the goalkeeper in Egypt, I couldn’t make him up because he has grown fat, but one of his teammates reintroduced him to me. He is now the goalkeeper’s trainer of Zamalek and up to date he still recalls the defeat we handed them.”
On 20th September 1987, which is exactly 33 years today, Asante Kotoko came from a goal down to wallop Zamalek 5-1 in the Africa Champions Cup now the CAF Champions League at the Kumasi Sports Stadium in what is famously known as the Super Miracle of Kumasi.
The Porcupine Warriors had lost the first leg 2-0 in Cairo against Zamalek who had won the competition in 1986 and in the early minutes of the reverse fixture they conceded a goal, making the deficit 3, hence needed 4 goals to turn the tide in their favour.
Youness registered the opener for Zamalek in the 5th min, but just two minutes later Sarfo Gyamfi restored parity for the hosts after he nodded home Kofi Abbrey's corner kick.
Prince Opoku Polley also scored the 2nd goal from Abbrey’s corner in the 9th min, before adding a 3rd goal for Kotoko still from Abbrey’s corner.
Sarfo Gyamfi made it 4-1 in the 77th min, before Saarah Mensah who came in as a substitute made it 5-1 in the 81st min.
The Zamalek’s 1st keeper El Mamour was replaced by Tayer Aymen after the 3rd goal.
The knight of the whistle was Traore Iddrissu from Mali
Thomas Hammond was the man of the match.
The victory brought a lot of smiles on the faces of Kotoko fans, dubbed the match “Super Miracle of Kumasi”.
Kotoko: Mohammed Odoom, Nana Eshun, Kwaku Okyere, Thomas Hammond, Ahmed Rockson, Abdul Razak (Captain), Sam Ayipey, Sarfo Gyamfi, George Arthur, Prince Opoku/Saarah Mensah, Kofi Abbrey