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01.08.2004 Football News

Kotoko set tone for Rangers

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Accra, Aug 1, GNA - Kumasi Asante Kotoko last Sunday set the tone for their opening group game against Enugu Rangers of Nigeria in the Confederations Cup Competition when they beat the national team of Togo, the Hawks, 3-1 in an International friendly match at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Kotoko who are scheduled to play the Nigerians at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Sunday, August 1, sent a good message to their teeming fans by dictating the pace of the game right from the blast of the whistle and succeeded in creating series of goal bound chances which were missed by Frank Osei, Kwame Adjagba and Eddy Owusu Ansah.

The dominance of the Ghanaian team only lasted for 15 minutes as the Togolese managed to ease the tempo of the game and redirected it to the midfield where both sides struggled to gain supremacy. After the intense struggle in the midfield, the Porcupine Warriors again took over the game and pinned their opponents to their own area in search of the opener. This materialized in the 40th minute, courtesy a spectacular volley from the foot of young Kweku Essien who took advantage after the Togolese keeper was forced out of his goal line to save a sticky situation to lob a long ball over the entire defence of the visitors into the net to register the first goal for the home team to end the first half.

Kotoko on resumption took a lackadaisical approach towards the game and allowed the Togolese to dictate the pace from which they were rewarded with a penalty, which was converted by Komm Koffi in the 47th minute to level up the scores. The Ghanaians then took over control of the game again and substitute Steven Oduro who could have increased the tally for his side saw his goal bound shot hit the cross bar to deny him a goal in the 61st minute. Oduro made amends a minute later when he connected a cross from nimble footed Elvis Opoku.

Kotoko never looked back as they continued to torment the visitors and had another goal in the 71st minute through Opoku who tapped in the ball after the Togolese keeper had failed to make a first time save from a Samuel Addo's cross. Kotoko could have banged in at least another goal before the close of the game as the Togolese struggled to come back into the game but their attackers failed to make use of the chances that came their way.