Kotoko down Ashgold
Kumasi Asante Kotoko stretched their lead at the top of the table in the Northern zone of the GFA Normalisation Committee Special Cup after silencing regional rival, AshantiGold (Ashgold), by 2-0 in their fourth week fixture at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
Kotoko, have so far, bagged nine points while AshantiGold maintain their five points having won one match, drawn two and lost one.
Abdul Safiu Fatawu scored both goals in the 71st and the 78th minutes, respectively, from similar fashion. On both occasions, he rounded up goalkeeper Frank Boateng to tap in the ball.
But AshGold had themselves to blame after failing to translate their first half dominance and scintillating football into goals.
Kotoko, although not very impressive, translated their second half dominance into scoring twice. It was indeed a game of equal halves which benefited Kotoko.
Despite the win, Kotoko's performance was a paleshadow of what was witnessed of them during the CAF Confederation Cup campaign.
It took them a longer period to gel and they were forced to chase their shadows for the first quarter of the match and intermittently succumbed to the swift inter-positional play by the Miners.
Goalkeeper Felix Annan pulled two dramatic saves ,including an eighth minute point-blank shot against Shafiu Mumuni.
Kotoko after struggling to find an antidote to AshantiGold's passing game, managed to breakthrough the solid defence of the Miners in the 17th minute but Emmanuel Gyamfi's attempt at shooting from the edge of the penalty area was intercepted by Richard Osei Agyemang for a corner kick.
With danger still lurking, Prince Acquah failed to connect from the kick as he fumbled to find his bearings from a forest of legs.
By the 24th minute, goalkeeper Annan had established his class as he brought the entire stadium on its feet with a superlative saves.
From one side of the post, Annan dived to the far end of the other to thwart a goal-bound shot from rasta-haired Richard Ella Djodi, after turning the defence inside-out.
Veteran midfielder Jordan Opoku, who had not featured for Kotoko for a long time, announced his presence during the dying minutes of the fist half when his thunderbolt grazed the crossbar.
Kotoko turned on the heat early in the second half and Gyamfi nearly fetched the opener in the 47th minute but his deceptive shot at goal hit the legs of goalkeeper Boateng.
A minute later, Fatawu of Kotoko shot the ball over the bar after a sweet interpositional play with Gyamfi.