Asante Kotoko warmed up for the weekend’s super clash with title rivals Hearts of Oak by overcoming Karela United 2-1 at home in a tension-filled Ghana Premier League match-day 30 fixture Wednesday.
The Porcupines thus go three points clear at the top of the standings and put pressure on the Phobians who play guests to Legon Cities Thursday night.
Forward Evans Adomako thought he had given Kotoko the lead in the 10th minute when he tapped home a low cross from the left by Emmanuel Gyamfi.
But his effort was chalked off for offside.
Gyamfi eventually opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after he was set loose by Fabio Gama.
1-0 the first half ended.
Karela returned stronger in the second half probing for the equalizer as Kotoko looked happy to sit back and soak in the pressure.
The leveller finally arrived in the 59th minute. saw the ball come off the head of Mudasiru Salisu and then the legs of Mohammed Habib before Richard Berko pounced on it and hit through the legs of goalkeeper Kwame Baah.
Referee Jacob Aduntera initially hesitated in awarding the goal as his assistant One’s flag was briefly up.
The indecision saw players and the technical bench of Karela charge at the match officials before the equalizer was eventually awarded.
Gama, the Brazilian playmaker scored from the penalty spot in the 74th minute, after Adomako was adjudged to have been brought down by goalkeeper Richard Baidoo.
Karela continued to threaten to pull level once more and almost got it when Kwame Baah dangerously gave the ball away but the Kotoko defenders timely managed to stop Berko from scoring.
Asante Kotoko – on 56 points – now topple Hearts of Oak who visit Legon Cities later on Thursday.