Kumasi, Nov. 29, GNA – A determined Asante Kotoko side fought gallantly to beat premier league champions, Ashgold, 1-0 in the SIC Nyemitei SWAG Cup clash at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi, on Sunday.
The Porcupine Warriors, who ended the 2014/2015 premier league barren, went all out to win the encounter to appease their vociferous fans, and the club’s Life Patron and Spiritual Leader, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who presented the giant trophy to skipper Amos Frimpong.
On hand to do the presentation were officials of the State Insurance Company Limited, sponsors of the event.
Defender Eric Donkor salvaged victory for Kotoko, scoring a beautiful freekick on the stroke of full time to throw the Stadium into frenzy.
The wild celebration and tumultuous applauds that greeted the goal summed up the Porcupine Warriors’ crave to at least bring the smiles back on the faces of their teeming supporters, following a disappointing season.
Ashgold dictated the pace of the game in the first half, pinning down Kotoko to their own half with some swift inter-positional plays and occasional counter-breaks.
Marshalled in midfield by the indefatigable twins, Fusieni and Alhassan Nuhu, the miners nearly opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when defender Mohammed Kadiri soared above the Kotoko defence to head a Fuseini inswinger, but the ball missed the target by inches.
Let off the hook, Kotoko played cautiously, resorting to long clearances to end the first session goalless.
Kotoko came into the second half a transformed side, and throwing caution to the wind, they attacked their opponents in droves, and it took the ingenuity of Kadiri and Nafiu Awudu to save their side from conceding in the early stages.
Kotoko continued to pile up pressure on the miners, and missed some decent chances in the 67th and 69th minutes as Donkor’s thunderbolt on both occasions failed to find the back of the net.
The Porcupine Warriors would again make some incursions for goal, and in the 80th minute, an unmarked Obed Owusu intercepted a pass from Amos Frimpong and on seeing goalie Robert Dabuo advance off his goal line, shot a low grounder which missed the target.
Ashgold, who were anticipating the game to end in penalty shoot-outs, brought on Nana Bonsu for Robert Dabuo, but as fate would have it, the miners would end up the vanquished side.
Donkor scored from a freekick on the stroke of full time after Tuffour Frimpong was brought down outside the penalty box to throw the Stadium into wild jubilation as the teeming Kotoko supporters rose to celebrate the victory.