Dwarfs lose in Cotonou
CAPE Coast Mysterious Dwarfs tasted their first pre-season defeat when they lost 0-1 to the Beninios champions, Dragons of Benin, in their pre-season international friendly match played in the Charles de Gaulle Stadium in Porto Novo, Benin, last Saturday to round off their five-day training tour of that country.
The kind of flair, skills and cohession exhibited by Dwarfs made some Beninios to mistake them for Hearts of Oak who are very popular in Benin.
In the match which saw the Cape Coast lads totally outplaying Dragons, it was the homesters who nearly took the lead in the 12th minute but Abdulai Wadada's connection to a cross was beautifully saved by Mohammed Muniru who was in post for Dwarfs.
Dwarfs, whose attacking machinery of Matthew Attiogbe, Walter Mensah and Douglas Mustapher failed to penetrate the iron-clad defence network of Dragons, came close to scoring in the 25th minute following a superb attack initiated by veteran Alhassan Iddrisu, but Walter Mensah's final shot was saved by Dragons goalie Olonde Saliou. Against the run of play, Dragons took the lead in the 29th minute through a penalty. Dwarfs' central defender, Rasidi Alawe after losing the ball following over-elaboration, pushed the opposing striker and the referee never hesitated in pointing to the spot. Winfred Ayidokinu who elected himself to take the kick converted beautifully to register the first goal for the homesters which turned out to be the match winner. After the goal, Dwarfs charged on their opponents in a bid to pull even. The equaliser nearly came in the 43rd minute but a fine 30-metre left-footed non-drop volley by 21-year-old fresh graduate teacher at the Adisadel College, Robert Stephen Reynolds, was parried over the bar by the goalie. The resultant corner-kick was wasted.
The entire second half was played in the half of Dragons as Dwarfs kept piling pressure on their opponents, but lack of imagination upfront and excellent goal-akeeping by Oloude Saliou prevented Dwarfs from getting at least a deserved equaliser. And when a 25-metre shot from Ernest Edu in the 85th minute was saved by the goalie, and an injury time chance was also wasted by Walters Mensah, it became clear that Dwarfs had tasted their first pre-season defeat.
Earlier on, Dwarfs defeated a select side from Cotonou on Thursday, with goals from Douglas Mustapher and Robert Stephen Reynolds.
The team arrived back home last Sunday.