Bechem United missed the chance to significantly cut the gap on leaders Asante Kotoko after playing out a frustrating 1-1 draw with 10-man Karela United in the final fixture of match-day 26 of the 2021/22 Ghana Premier League (GPL) Monday afternoon.
The Porcupine Warriors surprisingly slumped to a second successive defeat in the league on Sunday when they were beaten 3-1 at home – the Baba Yara Sports Stadium – by Legon Cities.
This gave Bechem the chance to cut into Kotoko’s 8-point lead should they secure victory in front of their fans at Nana Fosu Gyeabour Park.
The first half ended in a barren stalemate but just four minutes after the break, the visitors put themselves in the lead.
Umar Basiru snatched possession to start an attack that saw Matthew Kelvin Andoh outwit defender Emmanuel Osei Kuffour before reciprocating with a pass back to the lanky midfielder who finished off from close range for his 9th goal of the campaign.
Karela had to protect their 1-0 lead with 10 men from the 74th minute following a second yellow card to defender Patrick Mensah.
But they could not withstand the constant pressure from Bechem, conceding just three minutes later.
Augustine Okrah capped off a nice build-up that involved Francis Twene and Hafiz Konkoni with an eye-catching angled shot from inside the box, taking his league tally to 12 goals.
Bechem pinned Karela back into their own territory, patiently chasing the match-winner, but tried as they did even with over 11 minutes of stoppage time, they could not score further.
The 1-1 draw means second-placed Bechem United, now on 45 points, were only able to cut Asante Kotoko’s lead from 8 to 7 points. For Karela, they also remain in 8th place in the 18-team league.
📸🗣| THE STANDINGS after 2021/22 #GPLwk26👇:
• The Hunters, however, reduce the gap with leaders @AsanteKotoko_SC from 8 to 7 points.
— Footy-Ghana.com 🇬🇭 (@FootyGhana) April 25, 2022