Kotoko move to second place after surviving early scare in Kumasi

Kumasi, Dec. 21, GNA – Kumasi Asante Kotoko came from behind to beat visiting Berekum Chelsea at the Baba Yara Stadium in their match day nine encounter of the betPawa Premier League.

The Porcupine Warriors restored parity on the stroke of the first half through Ivorian Import, Serge Eric Zeze after conceding the first goal in he 28th.

Steve Dese Mukwala scored the match winner 22 minutes after recess to secure a hard fought victory for Asante Kotoko.

The win takes Kotoko to the second spot on the log with two points separating them from the league leaders, Aduana Stars.

The match started on a slow tempo as both teams cautiously built their attacks wary of being punished in the event of losing possession.

As a result, no decent chance was created in the first 15 minutes leaving the two goalkeepers virtually doing nothing in between the sticks.

It was on the 18th minute that Richmond Lamptey came close to finding the opener when he unleashed a long strike from outside the box, missing the cross bar by inches.

Two minutes later, Lamptey was set up in the box by George Mfegue who went round his marker with ease before locating the former Inter Allies playmaker whose effort was blocked by a defender of Berekum Chelsea.

The visitors, however, found the back of the net on the 28th minute against the run of play when Andrew Appau gifted the ball to Emmanuel Sarpong just outside the box.

The midfielder made no mistake as he planted the ball beyond goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim having benefited from the poor clearance by Appau.

The lanky defender who appeared to be having a bad day was immediately replaced with Serge Eric Zeze whose presence forced Justice Blay to take over the defensive duties of Appau.

Zeze’s introduction made immediate impact when he score the equaliser on the stroke of the first half to the delight of the home fans.

It was a beautiful build up on the edge of the box which was initiated and finished by Zeze after exchanging quick passes between himself, Mfegue and Steve Dese Mukwala.

The Porcupines sustained the pressure in search of their second goal but the visitors held on until referee George Mawuli Vormawor brought proceedings to an end.

Berekum Chelsea resumed the second half determined not to leave Kumasi without a point as they made three quick substitutions just four minutes after the break.

But it was Kotoko who dominated the early exchanges forcing goalkeeper Gregory Obeng Sekyere to make two-point blank saves in the first ten minutes of the second half.

Mukwala put Kotoko ahead for the first time in the 67th minute when he beautifully connected home a freekick from Enoch Morrison with a powerful header.

After taking the lead, Asante Kotoko controlled the game by keeping possession while taking advantage of spaces behind midfielders of their opponents as they chased the ball.

With three minutes to full time Kotoko scored another goal through Mukwala but it was adjudged offside by referee Vormawor after which no goal was scored by either side.

Source: Ghana News Agency