Asante Kotoko progressed to the round of 16 stage of the Normalisation Committee (NC) Tier 2 Knockout competition after beating former Premier League side, Real Tamale United 3-1 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium yesterday.
Kwame Boahen, Daniel Nii Adjei and Abdul Ganiyu produced the goals that ensured their progression while RTU’s consolation goal came from Abdulai Hardi.
Unsure of their fortunes in the NC Special League which is at the semi final stage and facing a difficult game against Hearts of Oak, the Porcupine Warriors knew they must take the competition very serious and they indicated that from the blast of the very first whistle.
Having missed those high platforms, RTU tried to take advantage to make an impact on the game with a few attempts to cause an early upset against the Asanteman warriors.
But Kotoko stamped their authority on the game, controlling affairs while the Tamale lads chase them for the ball.
Kotoko deservedly took an early lead through Kwame Boahen who tapped in a rebound after Daniel Nii Adjei’s cross was pushed back to play in the third minute.
That set the tone for what the Porcupine fans anticipated to be a day for massacre.
But RTU had other ideas as they accepted the challenge and carried the game to the host.
Exactly after 21 minutes, the Tamale contingent secured the equalizer from the spot when defender Abdul Ganiyu obstructed the movement of an RTU attacker in Kotoko’s goal area.
Abdulai Mohammed Hardi took the challenge of taking the resultant spot kick and converted brilliantly to the delight of the few RTU fans present.
On the stroke of half time, Daniel Nii Adjei restored Kotoko’s lead with another tap-in from a rebound.
Kotoko’s danger man, Boahen outrun his marker to connect an inch perfect cross from Emmanuel Gyamfi which was parried on to the path of Adjei to tap home.
Both side improved their games in the second half with Kotoko having the advantage despite the occasional threats from the visitors.
Kotoko put the game to bed in the 71st minute when Abdul Ganiyu scored from the spot after Emmanuel Gyamfi was tackled clumsily in the visitors’ goal area.
At the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium, Ashantigold managed a 1-0 victory over Young Apostles in their round 32 game.
Mark Agyekum scored the only goal of the match.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER