Asante Kotoko leave it late to beat Dwarfs in Kumasi

2 months ago

Two late goals in three minutes enabled Asante Kotoko to return to winning ways, beating Ebusua Dwarfs by 2 goals without reply.

Kotoko desperately needed the win after losing two times on the bounce to Chelsea and Medeama.

 The Baba Yara Stadium had no fans present, because the home side had started serving their ban for crowd violence.

Kotoko started the brighter side piecing passes together in midfield through Blay and Antwi  but could not cause the Dwarfs defence any problems. In the 14th minute, Kotoko had a freekick which was taken by captain of the day, Gyamfi, into the path of Nettey who was fouled in the box for a penalty.

Yacouba Sogne who is really yet to hit the dizzying heights which made him the toast of fans in his first season, elected himself to take the kick. While the Burkinabe's kick was clearly woeful, credit must be given to keeper Issa Razak who guessed right and made an emphatic save.

Kotoko went forward a couple of times more with Martin Antwi, Naby Keita and Yacouba combining well but keeper Razak was alive to his duties. Dwarfs were not ready to be kept under the couch and displayed some impetus, especially in attack, where Osman Mohammed and Ismael Antwi operated, displaying some swift inter-positional play but hardly troubled Kotoko.

The beginning of the second half was not much different from the first.

Kotoko made changes, bringing on Augustine Okrah and Richard Arthur for Gyamfi and Yacouba in the 48th and 50th minutes respectively. That did little to inject the quality expected as Kotoko failed to make meaningful incursions in Dwarfs' half.

Dwarfs were also happy to sit back and make occasional attempts at attacking the Kotoko defence with attacking trio of  Antwi, Tsiboah and Mohammed but were undone by poor shooting. Blay who was Kotoko's brightest spot aside Martin Antwi, kept on spreading the passes but Dwarfs were resolute in defence.

The away side lifted their game a notch higher having brought on Abu Naba and Moro Sumaila and tested keeper Kwame Baah twice in the 77th and 79th minutes but the Kotoko keeper was equal to the task. Youngster Matthew Cudjoe, who replaced Martin Antwi, showed immediate signs of making the difference.

 No wonder he opened the scoring in the 86th minute, pouncing on a loose ball after Blay's header set him up, following some good work by Keita. Keita was involved again 3 minutes later shooting on goal but Razak's save fell to an unmarked Richard Arthur to smash home the second.