Kumasi, Sept 3, GNA-League leaders, Kumasi Asante Kotoko beat Bofoakwa Tano 1-0 in their Kinapharma premier league match played at the Kumasi Sports stadium on Wednesday.
Kotoko has therefore widened the gap to three points ahead of their closest rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak who drew 0-0 with Berekum Arsenals. The visitors kicked off under the instructions of Keta-based referee Ebenezer Adegah but allowed Kotoko to take control of proceedings and nearly took the leader in the first minute but Michael Osei headed away the chance from Charles Taylor's pass.
Determined to carry the day, a two-man move by Shilla Alhassan and Charles Taylor saw Shilla's header missing narrowly in the eighth minute.
However, Stephen Oduro scored for Kotoko in the 12th minute in a solo effort after intercepting a ball from a throw in, dribbled two defenders and planted the ball on the blind side of goalkeeper Ransford Cudjoe.
Bofoakwa counter-attacked and nearly equalise in the 21st minute but Kwaku Adu's feeble shot missed while Michael Osei also squandered a chance in the 24th minute.
The game then became a ding-dong battle but it was Kotoko who had the upper hand and chief tormentor Charles Taylor nearly increased the tally in the 42nd minute but his lob was saved by goalkeeper Cudjoe. On resumption, Kotoko continued to pile on the pressure but the unyielding defence of Bofoakwa thwarted their efforts.
Both teams exhausted their substitutions but Kotoko who were slightly on top could not put their act together until full time. Players of King Faisal played very well but lost 0-1 to Koforidua based Stay Cool in their match played at the Koforidua Park. The Faisal boys went berserk and attacked referee F. K. Basaw of Takoradi after the match.
The worst offender among them was their captain, Hamza Mohammed, who rushed on Referee Basaw immediately the referee had signalled for the end of proceedings. Other players including their goalkeeper, Mohammed Swatu also joined in the attack as they cursed the match officials.
However, police personnel at the venue managed to save Referee Basaw from the wrath of the aggrieved players.
Lowly Stay Cool took the lead in the 14th minute through a penalty kick after striker Asamoah Dzifa was brought down in the penalty box of King Faisal as he tried to tear away from the defenders.
Dzifa who elected himself to take the kick placed the ball near the right post while Swatu dived to the left post. That was the only goal of the match.
King Faisal took up the challenge and mounted a continuous attack on the Stay Cool goal area and nearly got the equaliser in the 17th minute when Kwadwo Opoku fired a shot at goal during a goalmouth melee. Lugard Tetteh in the post for Stay Cool, dived full length to fist the ball to corner which was wasted.
Stay Cool managed to soak the persistent pressure of King Faisal and getting to the dying minutes of the game when the Kumasi boys looked exhausted, the Cool guys opened fire again and in the 89th minute, nearly increased their tally to two.
A header from substitute, Odartey Lamptey beat Swatu but the ball hit the upright and bounced back into play to the relief of the technical bench of King Faisal. Obuasi Goldfields fought back from a goal down in the second half to draw one all with Accra Great Olympics in their encounter played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
The game, which promised much, failed to live up to expectation, especially in the first half, as both teams played cautiously and gave very little away.
With goal scoring chances coming far in between, strikers of both sides managed to waste the few breaks they initiated. Olympics were the first to come close in the sixth minute when Paa Joe Kumah had a lucky break in the box from a goalmouth scramble but the striker's weak shot went straight into the hands of Isaac Amoaku, Goldfields goalkeeper.
Goldfields' Cameroonian import Bayard Issiaka created his side's best chance in the 19th minute when he created space in front of the box to fire a shot, which John Adjetey in post for Olympics tipped over the bar.
The drab first half produced little afterwards as the game became characterized by lots of missed passes and fouls.
The second, half unlike the first, started with a bang as Olympics charged out of the blocks and pinned Goldfields to their half of the field, forcing the defence of the Obuasi lads to do some over time to keep their team on level pegging.
Olympics first sniff at goal in the second half came in the 51st minute when Francis Mantey fired a volley from the edge of the box, which just missed target.
Shaibu Yakubu, the league's joint leading goal scorer with eight had Goldfields best opportunity when he broke through the offside trap of Olympics but pushed the ball too far to allow Adjetey in post to rush out and make a timely save.
The wonder boys who were clearly on top of proceedings opened the scoring in the 60th minute when hard press Yaw Owusu brought down Winfred Dormon who had just come on for Joe Tagoe for a penalty, which was expertly converted by Paa Joe Kumah.
Olympics pressed on for more goals and nearly had another in the 65th minute when Amoaku was forced to tip a dangerous back pass from Kofi Amoaku to corner.
From no where, Goldfields popped up with the equaliser in the 70th minute when Larmin Nasir broke through the offside trap, beat advancing goalkeeper of Olympics and gifted Shaibu an opportunity to apply the final touch to the ball just on the line.
The wonder boys reorganized themselves and pressed hard for the winner utilizing their numerical advantage as Goldfields were reduced to 10 men after the sending off of George Eranio for elbowing an Olympics player in the 73rd minute. The superiority could however not produce any more goals till the final whistle.