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02.08.2004 Football News

Kotoko Tame Hawks

By Graphic

Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko yesterday emphatically beat Togolese National side, the Hawks, 3-1 in a friendly international at the Accra Stadium.Exhibiting a high level of marksmanship, the home side took charge of the game right from the word go and confined the visitors to their own half on many occasions.

Midfield sensation, Kwaku Essien, perfectly placed the ball beyond the reach of onrushing goalkeeper Komlega Jean to open the score for Kotoko in the 39th minute after three consecutive corner kicks,Playing a well-cordinated game, Kotoko, displayed a high level of teamwork with beautiful play that attracted applause from the spectators.

The strong Kotoko defence held the Hawks attackers who looked goal-shy in check the few times they surged foward.After recess, the visitors came out of their shell and one of their incursions into Kotoko's territory earned them a penalty in the 51st minute which Kola Kugbayigbe converted to beat returnee goalkeeper, Osei Boateng, who came on as a substitute for Louis Quainoo to cancell the lead.

The game became balanced after the equaliser but Kotoko became more business-like upfront, and it came as no surprise when substitute Stephen Oduro tapped home an Elvis Opoku cross in the 60th minute to restore Kotoko's lead.

Thereafter the Porcupine Warriors not satisfied with the scorline, multiplied in their opponents' territory. Dimunitive Oduro nearly increased the tally but was denied by the wood work. Frank Osei failed to head home the rebound that fell to him.

Elvis Opoku, who put up a vintage performance crowned his efforts in the 71st when he fired home a pass to seal the doom of the Hawks. The rest of the game largely belonged to Kotoko who could have increased the scores butfor poor finishing.

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