Blackstars beat Kotoko
The senior national team the Black Stars on Thursday defeated Kumasi Asante Kotoko by two goals to one in a trial match played at the Accra Sports Stadium. Olympiakos of Greece striker Peter Ofori Quaye signed in the first goal in the 36th minute when he trapped the ball from mid air in between goalkeeper Osei Boateng and his defender Abbas Inusah, resulting in a collision between the two Kotoko players, before leisurely rolling the ball into the net. The goal had a touch of class. Kotoko responded in the second half with a Joe Sam penalty in the 56th minute after Joe Hendrix had clumsily tackled Frank Osei in the box. The Black Stars restored their lead with 15 minutes remaining through a well-taken penalty kick by Daniel Edusei when Michael Osei was infringed upon in the vital area by a Kotoko defender. The Stars started the match with a sense of urgency and Don Bortey had the first chance of the day but he scratched the ball and failed to find target. In the second minute, Shilla Alhassan fired over the bar at the other side to announce Kotoko's preparedness for a tough combat as the Porcupine Warriors earned the first corner of the match three minutes later. Before the quarter hour mark, Ofori Quaye and Charles Taylor who was captain of the Stars had missed clear chances and keeper Osei Boateng was forced to palm a threatening shot to corner to deny the national team. The competitive nature of the game manifested in the manner in which the tackles came from both sides, forcing referee C.M. Atsatsa to caution a player from each side. The shinning point in the Stars attack was Ofori Quaye as he dazzled again in the 43rd minute and made mince meat of Kwaku Duah before setting up Augustine Arhinful with an aerial ball but the veteran striker failed to connect his header home. In the second half, Coach Emmanuel Afranie introduced seven new players and this allowed Kotoko to dictate the pace resulting in their equaliser. The second string Black Stars soon found their rhythm and carried the game to the African Cup Winners semi finalists and deservedly snatched the winner. In all it was a very competitive match and a fitting trial for the Black Stars who play Rwanda in an African Nations Cup qualifier at the same venue on Sunday.