Portuguese coach , Mariano Baretto started his role as Asante Kotoko Head Coach on a bright note when he guided his side to a 4-0 annihilation of Bechem United yesterday at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium in a Ghana Premier League (GPL) outstanding fixture.
Three players; defender Abdul Ganiu , striker Andy Kumi and Brazilian forward Vinicius Jnr all scored debut goals whilst Fabio Gama scored his second goal of the season.
Most impressive was Brazilian playmaker, Gama who seemed to have finally discovered his scoring boots, proving a mouthful for the ‘Hunters’ as they struggled to contain his move in spaces, passes, technique and dribbling skills.
The win moved Kotoko to third on the league log on 31 points to leapfrog rivals Hearts of Oak who dropped to fourth on 30 points and moved them two points clear off leaders, Accra Great Olympics on 33 points.
Kotoko, playing at their new home venue in Obuasi, showed ferocious attacking instincts from the onset which was a sharp contrast to their season’s tactical approach which has seen them fail to score more than two goals all season.
The approach seemed to catch Bechem United off-guard as they struggled to ward off the home side’s onslaught which started early and nearly resulted in Habib Mohammed grabbing the lead for Kotoko only for this header to miss the target by a whisker.
Kotoko’s pressure finally broke Bechem United’s resistance when Abdul Ganiu combined with Gama before slamming a distant free kick past Bechem’s defence and goalie Daniel Afadwu to open the floodgates for his side.
Bechem’s deadly force of Hafiz Konkoni and Salifu Imoro with combined goals of 11, failed to engineer any comeback for the side neutralised by Kotoko’s defensive set-up led by centre-backs Ganiu and Yusif Mubarik.
Gama went from provider to scorer to cap his excellent first-half display with a goal three minutes to the break. A perfect team effort between Augustine Okrah and Andy Kumi, saw Okrah locating Gama. The Brazilian controlled with his left foot before slotting home with his right.
Kotoko returned from the recess showing no signs of slowing down whilst Bechem United seemed unwilling to fight back.
Therefore, it came as no surprise as their misery was compounded by striker Andy Kumi, who gave a good account of replacing Kotoko’s departed marksman, Kwame Opoku, scoring Kotoko’s third. The former Unistar marksman, thumped a powerful header past Afadwu from an Imoro Ibrahim supply three minutes past the hour mark.
The situation got worse for the visitors as Kotoko’s Brazilian substitute Vinicius Jnr completed the riot by his side two minutes after replacing Kumi in the 80th minute.
He finished off a six- man move that started with a long ball into Bechem’s area by Anabila which was picked by Samuel Frimpong.
Frimpong released it to Gama who combined beautifully with Okrah before setting up Godfred Asiamah whose low shot bounced off the post. Fortunately an unmarked Vinicius tucked it home.
BY KINGSLEY E. HOPE & NANA BENTSI ODURO