KUMASI Asante Kotoko completed the double over Berekum Arsenals with a 2-0 victory in their Glo Top 4 match watched by a sparse crowd at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
Having beaten Arsenal 3-0 in the first match at the same venue, Kotoko lived up to their rating as match favourites, with second half goals from slippery Francis Akwaffo and Jordan Opoku.
Akwaffo took his tally to five, making him the leading scorer in the tournament.
Arsenal offered little opposition, but for some near misses Kotoko could have won by a wider margin.
Clean-shaven Osei Bonsu nearly put Arsenal up in the first minute but his overhead drive sailed slightly over the bar. The two sides struggled to settle into the game, failing to get their passes through and wasting the few chances created.
It was Stephen Oduro who electrified the stadium with a magnificent solo run in the 33rd minute only to see the final delivery fly just over the bar.
The experienced midfielder had a similar opportunity five minutes into the second half. He cut through the opposition with another typical run but his attempt to beat keeper Thomas Asare fizzled out.
Before the uneventful first half ended, Arsenal’s Nicholas Acheampong, following a cut he received on his forehead in a fierce action with an opponent, was replaced by Charles Ampiah.
Starting the second half with the introduction of Jordan Opoku and Ofosu Amoah, Kotoko lifted their game and appeared the aggressors.
They penetrated the Arsenal guard in the 46th minute but Kwabena Yaro, a bundle of nerves all afternoon, fired away from just six yards out.
Ofosu Appiah and Akwaffo were relentless on the flanks, cutting through Saliu Muntari, Ahmed Acquah, Akwasi Acheampong and Mohammed Mutalabi.
With Arsenals finding Kotoko too hot to handle, Jordan squeezed a blistering left footer from 20 yards only to hit the post much to the disappointment of the fans. Akwaffo finally answered the calls from the stands when he opened the scores.
The Berekum club fought back fiercely, but getting close to firing range was always a problem. Francis Aggrey came on for Osei Bonsu in the 77th minute for Arsenal while Prince Amponsah replaced Yaro for Kotoko in the 81st minute, but it was Kotoko who probed for another goal, which came their way in the 89th minute through Jordan after a three-man move down the right.