Kumasi Asante Kotoko had to endure a difficult time at the Baba Yara Stadium before beating struggling 10-man Inter Allies 1-0 on match day 13 of the 2015/16 Ghana Premier League.
Kotoko move third after the victory and six wins out of seven games under interim handlers, Michael Osei and Godwin Ablordey.
Fans of the home side seemed charged up in the second period of the game after the showers had soaked them before recess, chanting their team on to record a goal which paid off 14 minutes into the second half through an Amos Frimpong penalty.
Prior to the goal which was expertly slot in by the captain, there was little for Kotoko to cheer as they lacked the bite upfront that could harm the away team’s defence marshalled by Nnamdi Kingsley and Emmanuel Nettey. It had to take the inclusion of Halipha Sedogo and Kwadwo Poku to create threatening opportunities.
Allies ae just a point from the base of the table, only better than Dwarfs who are 16th on the log with 10 points.
The ‘Eleven is to One’ were denied severally by Ernest Sowah in post for Kotoko with point blank goal line saves from shots by George Asamoah and Frederick Boateng. With all the endeavor, Inter Allies left Kumasi with nothing and remain in the last three on the 2015/2016 Ghana Premier League table.
Absence of Dauda and injury to Obed Owusu
The Porcupines had a listless attack in the absence of their leading scorer, Mohammed Dauda who was on an international assignment with the Black Satellites in Ethiopia. Obed Owusu who was passed fit on Saturday was paired with Bennett Ofori upfront but he couldn’t produce any of his energetic play in the opening 18 minutes.
The attacker seemed to have his injury resurface and had to be substituted for Elvis Amo to replace him as he was seen walking gingerly on the field a couple of times. The threat posed by the Kotoko attack lacked precision and barely produced decent chances in their opponents’ goal area.
The away side seemed to have warmed themselves well into the game when the second half started, seizing control of the midfield and making it uncomfortable for a tepid Kotoko to defend situations and attempts at goal until Sulley Mohammed was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
The former King Faisal striker refused to hurry of the pitch as he was being substituted in the 54th minute for Ropapa Mensah and was shown the yellow cad which was the second for him on the afternoon after earlier being booked for a nasty tackle on Amos Frimpong in the additional time of the first half.
The red card prevented Ropapa from coming on and in two minutes, Kotoko seized the opportunity to attack the raged Allies side which earned them a penalty after Elvis Amo had been needlessly shoved by his marker. Amos made no mistake and slot the ball into the right bottom corner of the post beyond Osei Kwame’s reach.
There were a number of calls from Referee Nathan Anafo that couldn’t please both teams after the goal but there was very little action to be witnessed as both sides thread cautiously to avoid conceding. Ropapa Mensah came on to disturb the reds defence with good runs and pace but the end product was little to be desired.
The win pushes Kotoko third on the Ghana Premier League standings with 23 points whiles Inter Allies lie 15th with 11 points after Week 13.
Kotoko defender Ahmed Adams was adjudged Man of the Match.
Asante Kotoko XI; Ernest Sowah, Amos Frimpong, Bennett Ofori, Ahmed Adams, Evans Quao, Theophilus Nyame (Kojo Poku), Sarfo Gyamfi, Stephen Nyarko, Edwin Tuffour Frimpong (Halipha Sedogo), Obed Owusu (Elvis Amo)
SUBS; Atta Kusi, Ohene Brenya, Stephen Oduro, Felix Annan
Inter Allies XI; Osei Kwame, Pince Baffoe, Martey Simon, Ibrahim Alhassan, Nnamdi Kingsley, Emmanuel Nettey, Akwei Wahab, Gockel Ahortor, Sulley Mohammed, George Asamoah (Ropapa Kwamena Mensah), Boateng Frederick
SUBS; Salifu Saed, Ntefuni Ishmael, Adjaklo Edward, Mohammed Deo Sheriff, Prince Barrie, Uriah Kporvi