?J.A. Kufuor Cup: Asante Kotoko beats Nsoatreman to win second edition

Asante Kotoko secured a hard fought win over Nsoatreman to win the second edition of the J.A. Kufuor Cup at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday. ??

The Porcupines came from a goal down to defeat a stubborn Nsoatreman 2-1 in a match dominated by the losing side who at some point received applause from the home fans. ??

The visitors who have proven to be tough customers for Asante Kotoko anytime they visit the Baba Yara Stadium lived up to expectation despite losing the coveted trophy to Kotoko.

The first ten minutes was predominantly a midfield battle with both sides falling to threaten each other’s goal area. ??

They both exhibited tactical discipline making it difficult for the creation of decent chances with both goalkeepers virtually being on holiday.

??It was not until the 18th minute that Nsoatreman created the first goal-scoring opportunity when Mohammed Abdul-Rahman sent in a tailor-measured cross into the box for Kwabena Adu who disappointingly headed wide. ??

The visitors were once again in the Kot
oko box two minutes later following a swift build up from the middle, forcing Frederick Asare to make a brilliant save from Adu’s thunderbolt.

Kotoko appeared to have woken after the two successive incursions and launched their first attack at the other end of the pitch which was gallantly defended by the backline of Nsoatreman.

??That effort only turned out to be flash in the pan as Nsoatreman took control of the game with incessant attacks in the Kotoko half. ??

They dominated in every department of the field, leaving Kotoko to chase the ball with little prospect of finding the back of the net. ??

Captalising on their dominance, Nsoatreman broke the deadlock two minutes into the additional six minutes through Abdul-Rahman who headed home a cross from Umar Abdul-Manaf.

??They almost doubled their lead after the restart when Stephen Diyou launched a thunderous strike which was parried to safety by Asare. ??

Referee Abdul-Latif Adaari brought proceedings to an end as Nsoatreman went into the break with t
heir slender lead. ??

Asante Kotoko resumed the second half an improved side but it was Nsoatreman who came close to scoring their second against the run of play but for a timely interception by Nurudeen Yussif. ??

Coach Prosper Nartey Ogum introduced Baba Yahaya and Rocky Dwamena for Mohammed Sheriff and Emmanuel Kotei. ??

The substitutions immediately paid off when Steve Dese Mukwala scored a spectacular equaliser from a corner kick, leaving the visitors absolutely bemused.

??The Ugandan import guided the corner delivered to the near post by Richmond Lamptey to the top corner of the post with his left foot for the equaliser.

??Referee Adaari awarded Nsoatreman a penalty three minutes later after Nurudeen held an opponent in the box, but Asare saved Abdul-Manaf’s spot kick to the relief of the home fans. ??

They would pay dearly for the missed opportunity two minutes later when Lamptey combined with Peter Acquah Amidu to put Kotoko in the lead for the first time. ??

Lamptey delivered a defence-splitti
ng pass into the box for Amidu whose effort took a wicked deflection off the body of a defender before rolling into the net.

??Nsoatreman fought hard to pull parity but the Porcupines held on to win the second edition of the J. A. Kufuor Cup at their favourite Baba Yara Stadium.

Source: Ghana News Agency