Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Sports stadium struggled to beat visiting Kpando Heart of Lions 1-0 in their titanic GT Premier League match on Sunday in Kumasi. Yusif Chibsah scored the only goal in the 80th minute mark from Aziz Ansah's well-taken corner kick. The goal brought some respite and relieve to the Kotoko supporters as a result of the two earlier drawn matches by Kotoko against Power FC and Bofoakwa Tano.
Lions, who marched Kotoko boot for boot right from the kick off, however found the defence of Kotoko led by Aziz Ansah very difficult to penetrate. Kotoko on the other hand missed a lot of chances in the early stages of the game with Nana Arhin Duah and George Yamoah being the worst offenders.
Even though the field of play was slippery due to Saturday's heavy downpour, both teams gave a good account of themselves while in the 18th minute Dramani Haminu of Lions missed a chance when he had only goalkeeper Habib Mohammed in goal for Kotoko to beat. Kotoko who were determined to carry the day, shot from all angles but Lions keeper, Mozart Adjetey managed to save the situation, especially in the 30th minute when he stretched to parry to corner Chibsah's powerful shot. Lions in the 32nd minute also had a chance to score but Eric Berko squandered the chance. Kotoko came out strongly during the second half and nearly took the lead but Johnson Eklu cleared Chibsah's goal bound shot in the 46th minute.
The home team continued to pile pressure and moved deep into the vital area of Lions but Yamoah headed another chance that came his way in the 52nd minute over the bar. Kotoko sent on Kweku Essien for Yamoah in the 65th minute while Lions also brought on Ibrahim Sulemana for Eric Berko in the 70th minute but it was still Kotoko who continued to probe for goals but their attackers were always found wanting in front of goal. Kotoko substituted Kennedy Asamoah for Daniel Bomfa in the 72nd minute while Arhin Duah fumbled as he failed to connect home a cross from Kenneth Ababio in the 70th minute.
In the 80th minute, Chibsah however scored the match winner to bring thee smiles back to the Kotoko supporters. After the goal, Lions launched a last minute onslaught and in the 85th minute, skipper Obed Ansah's shot sailed over the bar to the relief of the home fans.
In the 89th minute, Kotoko's Kwabena Dodzie took over from Arhin Duah but the change could not make any difference till the final whistle of referee, Daniel Offei.