Asante Kotoko suffered their first home defeat of the season to a defensively disciplined New Edubiase side at the Baba Yara Stadium on their match day 9 encounter of the 2015/16 league on Saturday night.
Prince Antwi’s 21st minute strike handed coach Michael Osei his first loss in charge of the Porcupine Warriors, in a game in which Kotoko largely dominated.
The Porcupine Warriors started the game on the front foot looking for an early lead. The first real opportunity of the game fell to striker Obed Owusu but his effort was tame and straight at Benjamin Mensah in post for New Edubiase. Kotoko continued to dominate play and looked the likelier of the two teams to take the lead.
It was however the away side that got the opening goal in the 23rd minute. Defender Ahmed Adams made a mess of a clearance that was intercepted inside Kotoko’s half. Prince Antwi was then played through on goal and he made no mistake in slotting in past the on-rushing Ernest Sowah.
Kotoko threatened an immediate response after re-start but youngster Dauda Mohammed wasted the opportunity when it was easier to score than miss.
Kotoko continued to push for an equalizer against the resolute Edubiase defense and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Dauda’s strike came off the arm of Christopher Agbashie but referee J.A Amenyah waved play on. Minutes later, Dauda, who had caused problems all evening, had a great effort saved by Benjamin Mensah before the 19-year old blasted another great effort just wide.
The first half had now become the Dauda show and the diminutive attacker had a shot deflected off the post. The resultant corner kick was punched out by Benjamin Mensah before Frank Sarfo Gyamfi’s rebound effort flew past the Edubiase goal. Edubiase took a 1-0 lead into the break.
After Recess, Kotoko continued where they left off with their first shot on target coming inside the first minute of the second half. Stephen Nyarko’s acrobatic effort straight at Mensah.
60 minutes went by but Kotoko failed to make their dominance count as they struggled to create openings in front of Edubiase’s goal. Coach Michael Osei replaced Sarfo Gyamfi with Bennett Ofori as he went in search of width on the flanks.
On 68 minutes, Kotoko created perhaps their biggest chance of the second half after Stephen Nyarko’s well-placed pass picked out the run of Dauda Mohammed who was through on goal, one on one with Benjamin Mensah. But the striker’s effort was kept out by the trailing leg of the impressive Mensah. The save attracted applause from Kotoko’s trainer Michael Osei.
In the 75th minute, Edubiase coach Anthony Commey made his first change of the evening with Emmanuel Nketsiah coming in to replace Felix Afriyie. Michael Osei responded with an attacking change of his own, taking off left back Tuffuor Frimpong for striker Kwame Boateng, with Eric Donkor withdrawing to left back.
Kotoko’s continuous push for an equalizer meant they were prone to counter attacks and Edubiase almost doubled their lead through goal scorer Prince Antwi who raced past Osei Agyemang to create a one on one situation with Ernest Sowah who dived to his left to brilliantly keep it out.
Kotoko were down the opponent’s half within minutes and won a freekick. Obed Owusu stepped up and hit a brilliant one but Mensah again came to Edubiase’s rescue with a brilliant save. The resultant corner created the game’s clearest opportunity. Obed Owusu connected the header from the corner towards goal and all defender Ahmed Adams had to do was tap it in but somehow he kicked it out, much in the frame of a goal-line clearance.
There was disbelief all around the stadium but Edubiase had other ideas, and had another counter saved by Ernest Sowah within seconds of Adams’ terrible miss.
It was a truly exciting game littered with opportunities. There was 5 minutes of injury time but not much football was played in there with injuries and substitutions taking a chunk of it. Edubiase made their final substitution. John Aworyi came in for goal scorer Prince Antwi. By this time, the Fabulous supporters had started trooping out of the stadium.
Kotoko had one last opportunity right at the depth but it was wasted, and so was the three points. Edubiase had pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the season; their first away win of the season, and Kotoko’s first home defeat of this campaign. It brings to an end a 3-game unbeaten run in all competitions for the Porcupine Warriors.
Kotoko will thus go into their titanic clash with rivals Accra Hearts of Oak on Monday May 2 with a defeat. Next up for Edubiase is a trip to Chelsea.
Kotoko XI: Ernest Sowah – Amos Frimpong, Ahmed Adams, Richard Osei Agyemang, Edwin Tuffuor/Kwame Boateng – Kwadwo Poku, Stephen Nyarko, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi/Bennett Ofori, Eric Donkor – Obed Owusu, Dauda Mohammed
Unused subs: Felix Antwi, Ohene Brenya,Atta Kusi, Halipha Sedogo, Theophilus Nyame
New Edubiase XI: Benjamin Mensah – Christopher Agbashie, Ibrahim Samed, Tahiru Malik, James Boadu, Musah Nuhu, Prince Antwi/John Aworyi, Yeboah Richard, Prince O. Agyemang, Felix Afriyie/Emmanuel Nketia, Wahab Annan
Unused subs: George Arthur, Matthew Boafo, Godfred Asiamah, Haminu Dramani, Gabriel Amannor