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21.08.2006 Football News

Kotoko hold Oly

By JFM
Kotoko hold Oly
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Accra Great Olympics returned to the premiership with a superlative performance against defending champions, Kumasi Asante Kotoko but failed to net the maximum points for their display.

The only time the 'returnees' hit the back of the net was through a 35 minute effort by Skipper Winfred Dormon, but referee John Atikese from Koforidua overruled it, allowing the Wonder Club to share the points with Kotoko on a barren draw.

Olympics dictated the pace of the game from the start as their midfield dominance, led by Edward Sosu revved and throttled harder to put Kotoko on the back foot.

However despite their dominance, the 'returnees' failed to tailor their shots on target with goalkeeper Mohammed Alhassan of Kotoko having very little to do.

Man of the match, Sammy Addo of Kotoko was, however, on constant alert as Mensah Pomaye and Mike Ocansey struggled to connect passes from Dormon and Ayitey Botchway, as he was a cut above his midfield opponents from Kumasi.

On the half hour mark, a sleek Olympics build up presented Pomaye with a chance but he froze before Kotoko's towering defender Murtala Mohammed.

Five minutes later, the crowd rose to celebrate a goal when Dormon swept the ball in from a tense goalmouth action.

But to the surprise of the fans, referee Atikese however nullified the effort.

The rest of the second half was tame with both sides showing signs of fatigue.

In the second half, Olympics kept up the pressure but Aziz Ansah and his colleagues at the back for Kotoko held them in check.

When Kotoko managed to go forward, youthful Oly's goalkeeper, Ben Mensah stood tall with a display of agility and guts.

Midway through the half, Ahmed Tonye broke loose and had the goal in sight but Mensah pulled a great save, injuring himself in the process.

Soon after that, the Kotoko goal area went on fire as Oly countered, but Pomaye skewed the ball out of course.

The introduction of Ofosu Appiah swung the pendulum in favour of Kotoko as his speed posed a lot of problems for the Olympics defence.

Sammy Addo was lucky to pick only a yellow card for viciously decking Kwesi Bonsu with a kick-boxing tactic in the 83rd minute.

Olympics regrouped and launched a final onslaught on Kotoko but the best they had was a strike against the left upright on 88 minutes from a tense goalmouth action.

Coach Ken Augustt of Olympics and Board Chairman Amarkai Amartifio described the performance of the team as impressive.

Kotoko's coach, Emmanuel Afranie praised the form exhibited by Olympics and predicted that the 'returnees' would do well in the League.

Tema Real Sportive pipped Real Tamale United (RTU) 1-0 in their opening game of the Onetouch Premier League match played at the Tema Sports Stadium.

Sportive who lost 0-3 to their opponents in last year's encounter, thrilled the sparse crowd with some brilliant moves for the greater part of the first session.

The incessant pressure mounted on their opponents resulted in a penalty in the 27th minute, but the chance was wasted by Richard Yeboah as goalkeeper Najawu Issah of RTU made a brilliant save of the kick.

Undaunted buy he early miss, Sportive continued their effort at snatching the leader as they matched RTU boot for boot but failed to score till the end of the first half.

RTU nearly went ahead in the 64th minute but Fatawu Mohammed fumbled in front of goal to give Sportive a sigh of relief.

When everything seemed to be pointing to a goalless drawn game, Sportive raised the tempo of their game and scored through George Mensah in the 75th minute after goalkeeper Issah had failed to make a first time save of a shot from Sam Hanson.

Urged on by the home fans, Sportive from then on probed for more goals, but their efforts failed to achieve the desired results as a result of good defensive work by keeper Issah supported by Issahaku Murtala and Nasiru Mohammed.

'Returnee' Gamba Swedru All Blacks dished Liberty Professionals 2-1 in the opening game of the 2006/7 One Touch Premier League game played at the Swedru Stadium on Sunday.

The Swedru club who returned to the premiership this season after years of struggles in the First Division fetched the opener in the 28th minute through a penalty expertly converted by pint-size Clement Coffie.

The early lead was however short lived as the 'Scientific Soccer' lads immediately responded positively, returning fire on the home team and managed to grab the equaliser through Agyeman Asamoah who connected home a deep cross with his head in the vital area of their opponents.

Determined to make an impact in the opening game and send a strong signal to its supporters, All Blacks gave their vociferous supporters an inaugural package by increasing their tally in the second half.

The winning goal came through the efforts of Richard Ampong to send the Swedru township into wild jubilation after the game.

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