Joseph Essam saved a last-gasp Franck Etouga Mbella penalty to help bottom club Elmina Sharks beat leaders Asante Kotoko 2-1 in a 2021/22 Ghana Premier League (GPL) match-day 16 game at the Ndoum Sports Stadium on Monday.
The victory was the first for the Fearsome Sharks in 10 games as they have not scored a goal in their last 9 GPL games.
Dickson Afoakwa tapped in a George Mfegue cross at the far post to give the dominant Porcupine Warriors a deserved lead in the 38th minute.
Sharks levelled through Ebenezer Adu-Kwaw five minutes later when he headed past goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad from a set-piece to finish the first half 1-1.
Coach Prosper Narteh Ogum’s side finished the game with 10 men as defender Imoro Ibrahim got sent off after receiving two yellow cards within a minute for dissent.
Tempers had risen after centre referee Abdulai Ibrahim controversially awarded Sharks a penalty, citing handball against Sheriff Mohammed in the 52nd minute. The Kotoko players charged at the referee to register their protest against the decision and from the altercation, the referee was forced to splash his yellow card to the left-back twice.
Sharks took the lead by converting the penalty through Alhaji Mustapha who successfully did so at the second attempt after Danlad came off his line to save the first effort.
Etouga Mbella won a last-minute penalty for Kotoko but had his shot from the spot saved by Essam to hand Elmina Sharks massive three points.
The defeat cuts Kotoko’s lead at the top of the league table to four points ahead of second-placed Bechem United.
Elmina Sharks are still bottom of the league log with 11 points, 7 away from safety.
Great Olympics will host Sharks in their final game of the first round on Sunday while Kotoko welcome Accra Lions to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium a day earlier.
By Adamu Benin Abdul Karim