Asante Kotoko continued their chain of stalemates yesterday, drawing 1-1 against Bibiani Gold Stars at the Dun’s Park in a match day 13 betPawa Ghana Premier league (GPL) clash.
Kotoko who had drawn three consecutive GPL fixtures seemed on course to break the cycle with a brilliantly taken goal by Ugandan forward, Steven Mukwala in added-on time of the first half.
But that dream was short-lived as the home side, also hunting for a first win in three games after three straight draws, responded with the leveler five minutes into the second period through Adraman Yahaya.
A contentious penalty awarded to Gold Stars was missed by marksman Ibrahim Laar as Kotoko goalkeeper Frederick Asare saved but midfielder Adraman Yahaya was well-placed to slot home the rebound.
Gold Stars had the opportunity to take the lead when a second penalty was awarded by centre referee Akumatey Franklin but captain Prince Owusu Kwabena who elected himself for the kick missed.
Despite the draw, Kotoko’s title chase remained intact as they jumped into third place on 21 points; one point adrift leader Aduana Stars on 22 points and one point ahead of rivals Hearts of Oak who lie fourth on 20 points.
The home side by the result have extended their unbeaten run to nine consecutive games and lie fifth on 20 points.
The opening 20 minutes was dominated by Kotoko whose midfielders Richard Boadu and Justice Blay dictated play and pace in the visitors favour but they lacked the cutting edge to hurt the host.
The rest of the first half swung in the home side’s favour, causing Kotoko to backtrack and to rely on counter-attacking play.
That seemed to work for Kotoko as the goal came from adopting this system.
A break up of a Gold Stars attack and with the ball in the possession of Boadu, he drove a long pass to Mukwala who came one-on-one with Gold Stars goalie, Joseph Baah who Mukwalarounded up before slotting into a yawning net for the opener.
It didn’t take long for the homeside to respond.
Five minutes into the second-half, a goal mouth melee inside the Kotoko area led centre referee Franklin to adjudge a Kotoko defender to have handled the ball.
Ibrahim Laar failed to convert with Asare saving but Yahaya who was well positioned follow-up drew the ‘Golden Boy’s’ level.
An opportunity for the host to take the lead in the 69th minute was spurned by Captain Prince Kwabena Owusu who missed a spot kick awarded to the hosts with Asare stepping up with a superb save.