Football

Asante Kotoko survive Dwarfs scare to secure comeback win in Ghana Premier League

The Porcupine Warriors have consolidated their place at the top of the table after winning additional marks against The Crabs

 

Asante Kotoko had to do it the hard way against Ebusua Dwarfs as they came from behind to record a 2-1 home win in their Ghana Premier League fixture on Thursday.

Emmanuel Gyamfi emerged the hero of the day as his double rescued the Porcupine Warriors at Obuasi’s Len Clay Stadium after Denis Korsah had put the visitors in the lead.

The win has taken the Kumasi-based side four points clear at the top of the table after matchday 24. Arch-rivals Hearts of Oak, Medeama and Great Olympics are the closest contenders, each with 40 points.

 

Kotoko coach Mariano Barreto made two changes to the starting side that beat Dreams 3-1 on Saturday, replacing Brazilian acquisition Michael Vinicius and winger Augustine Okrah with Francis Andy Kumi and Patrick Asmah.

Like Kotoko’s big January signing Vinicius, Dwarfs’ Japanese acquisition Jindo Morishita was relegated to the bench.

In the ninth minute, Kotoko defender Imoro Ibrahim tested Dwarfs goalkeeper Razak Issah with a shot, six minutes before goalkeeper Razak Abalora was forced into a save by Elia Kofi at the other end.

Habib Mohammed then made another attempt to get the Porcupine Warriors the opening goal but his shot from outside the box missed the target by a whisker.

Dwarfs broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Korsah smashed a shot from outside the box into the net after a shortish free-kick was rolled onto his path.

Only five minutes later, Kotoko hit back through Gyamfi, who beat his marker to head home from Emmanuel Nettey’s cross into the box.

Moments before half-time, Brazilian midfielder Fabio Gama survived a challenge to set up Gyamfi inside the box but the winger’s shot went wide.

 

Back from half-time in the 53rd minute, Kotoko turned the tables around as Gyamfi pounced on a blunder by Dwarfs goalkeeper Issah to make it 2-1, the latter making a mess of an attempt to collect a seemingly harmless delivery into his box.

A little after the hour-mark, Kumi latched onto a through ball and made his way into the 18-yard box, but his shot was well handled by goalkeeper Issah.

The score would not change for the remainder of the game as after five added-on minutes, the referee whistled to bring proceedings to an end.

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