Kumasi, Aug 25, GNA - Kumasi Asante Kotoko on Wednesday beat their city-rivals, King Faisal 2-1 in their titanic first-leg semi-final GHALCA special knockout competition at the Kumasi Sports stadium. The first half recorded no goals with both teams making frantic efforts to find the leader but it was Kotoko who nearly came close when in the first minute, Stephen Oduro's lob towards goal was saved by goalkeeper Suraj Mohammed in goal for Faisal.
Kotoko kept the heat on Faisal and came close to scoring in the seventh minute but Michael Osei shot feebly for keeper Suraj to punch the ball to corner.
Let off the hook, Faisal counter attacked and Ishaq Debrah's shot was also pushed to corner by goalkeeper Osei Boateng of Kotoko in the ninth minute.
Faisal continued to probe for the leader, which eluded them when Eric Gawu's shot in the 22nd minute was saved by goalkeeper Osei Boateng.
Kotoko scored however managed to score a goal in the 41st minute through Nana Arhin Duah who connected Oduro's free kick into the net but he was ruled off side.
On resumption, Abubakari Yahuza of Faisal in the 49th minute hit the side netting after goalkeeper Boateng had failed to make a first time save of the ball.
Kotoko from then took control of the game and rightly secured the opener through Issah Ahmed who over-lapped to head home an Oduro's free kick in the 65th minute.
Faisal accepted the challenge and found the equaliser in the 70th minute from a spot kick taken by Godwin Ablordey.
When the game seemed to be heading towards a draw, substitute Imbola Sanjie snatched the winner in the 88th minute with a powerful header from another Oduro's free kick to give the vociferous Kotoko supporters much to cheer about.