Kumasi Asante Kotoko showed no signs of complacency as they edged Accra Great Olympics 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium in a Ghana Premier League (GPL) match week 32 fixture, yesterday.
A moment of brilliance from striker Franck MbellaEtouga in the 69th minute restored him as leader on the goal king charts, increasing his tally to 21, one better than Ashanti Gold’s Yaw Annor.
The Cameroonian marksman, hovering around the edge of the Olympics box received a pass from Ibrahim Imoro, who was played through with a piercing pass from midfield from Fabio Gama.
Receiving the ball, he turned to face the goal and struck a low shot that bounced in front of Seidu and beyond his reach.
It was not an easy win for the visitors as the home side, eager to set things right from a previous 2-1 home defeat to Medeama, showed more aggression and hunger with their persistence; resulting in a number of dangerous set-pieces which were wasted.
Early in the game, Olympics livewire Sulley Ibrahim putAbbey Quaye through but Kotoko’s goalkeeper Kwame Baah parried his effort while Baah’s team-mate Richard Boadu tidied up the situation.
Kotoko had attacking moments of their own with Mbella coming close to the opener. A corner -kick beautifully executed by Imoro was connected by Etouga but it deflected off Olympics midfielder VarneyBokai going out for a throw-in.
With three minutes to end the opening duration, RaymondGrippman tested Baah with a stinging free-kick but the shotstopper remained alert to avert the danger.
After the interval, Kotoko coach Ogum introduced Brazilian playmaker Fabio Gama for Richmond Lamptey and the Brazilian made an instant impact with his touches and passes.
It therefore came as little surprise as he provided the defence splitting pass from midfield to Imoro to set up Etouga for the goal.
Olympics attempted a response with a series of attacks led by Abbey Quaye but did not find the antidote to breach Baah’s goal.
The loss dropped Olympics to ninth on the league log with 44 points, dealing a big blow to their top four ambitions with two games remaining.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO