Kotoko silence Tema Youth
League Leaders Kumasi Asante Kotoko on Sunday beat over confident Tema Youth 2-0 in their Onetouch Premier League match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Kotoko who were desirous to please their teeming supporters took the lead after the recess when in the 18th minute skipper Emmanuel Osei Kuffour headed home a corner kick from a Samuel Inkoom cross.
Earlier, Kotoko's slippery Kwabena Yaro had missed two clear chances before in the fourth and eighth minutes respectively.
Tema Youth tightened their defence and made attempts to level up but the scores but the defence of Kotoko built around Richard Manu, Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Acquah and Osei Kuffour proved strong for the attacking machinery of the visitors.
In the 22nd minute, Tema Youth's Ekow Benson was shown the yellow card for diving in the penalty box.
Kotoko who were determined to carry the day, piled the pressure on the Tema lads and nearly increased the tally in the 28th minute, but Edward Kpodo denied them the chance when he headed the ball to corner.
The 'Porcupine Warriors' continued to probe for more goals and skipper Kuffour's 30 metre shot punched back into play by goalkeeper Ernest Sowah with the Kotoko attackers failing to utilize the chance.
The Tema lads who seemed undaunted played it hard as they probed for the equalizer with their midfield taking control but lacking bite upfront as they missed chances that came their way.
The visitors brought in Wilson Andoh for Hamza Imam in the 38th minute but it was still Kotoko who were on top with Eric Bekoe missing a chance in the 40th minute.
On resumption of the second half, Tema Youth improved on their game and pinned Kotoko to their own half and had a corner in the 49th minute but wasted it.
In the 52nd minute, disaster hit Kotoko when their skipper Osei Kuffour was red-carded for decent.
Kotoko replaced Jordan Opoku with Ofosu Amoah in the 62nd minute while Edward Kpodo was also booked for indecent in the 65th minute while they brought in Edward Afum for Sakyi Quaye with Kotoko also bringing in Nana Arhin Dua for Kwabina Yaro in 67th minute simultaneously.
Playing with ten men, Kotoko took no chances and nearly increased the tally in the 69th minute but substitute Amoah's shot was pushed to corner with the resultant kick wasted.
In the 73rd minute the Referee award a free kick to Tema Youth some metres away from the box, but the kick taken by Kpodo hit a defender and went to corner.
Eric Bekoe made it 2-0 for Kotoko in the 78th minute when he hit the back of the net with a powerful header from Osei Kwame's cross to attract a hug from Tema Youth's Coach Opeele Boateng.
The Tema lads fought desperately to redeem a goal but the impregnable defence of Kotoko denied them of a goal until the referee whistled for the end of hostilities.