BECHEM Chelsea made a triumphant entry into the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over B.A. United at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The feat chalked up by Chelsea was significant because they were only in their second year of the national first division league.
A very good crowd watched the match with most of them rooting for United, but the former Apostles of Power Soccer failed to deliver and left the stadium crestfallen. Long after referee Lord Vuvor ended proceedings, the United players remained stuck on the turf, perhaps brooding over the missed opportunity to return to where they belonged.
Expectations among the players and fans of both sides were very high because the two teams were separated by just a goal before the game.
While Chelsea needed just a draw to make it to the premier division, United needed a win, and that informed the way they were in a haste to score.
By the fourth minute United had given strong signals to carry the day as Roman Nyarko cut through the Chelsea defence, but his final delivery was feeble.
The massive United following yelled for action, and when United's Ransford Asare fell in the box on the ninth minute shouts of "penalty, penalty" reverberated through the stands, but the referee ignored them and rather awarded an infringement against the striker for diving.
Much of the action was concentrated in the middle with United slightly on top, but getting close to the firing range was always a difficult task.
Adopting the long passing game, Chelsea made their first serious attempt at goal on the 11th minute, only to see John Cudjoe making a mess of the chance.
B.A. United's Okyere Sarpong and Twum Baiden were booked on the 31st and 35th minutes respectively for dangerous play but their supporters were not happy about the referee's decisions and booed him.
Chelsea's Awudu Abubakari also received the yellow card on the 40 minute.
The real action prevailed in the second half as United went all out, with Chelsea soaking the pressure through resolute defending from Samuel Okyere, Albert Adongo and Richard Afari., while attempting to catch their opponents on the break.
Both sides made substitutions but the exchanges became balanced until United lost their captain, Twum Baiden, on the 75th minute through a red card for an infringement on an opponent.
Chelsea took advantage of the numerical advantage to fetch the only goal on the 78th minute through Richard Atikah who pounced on a rebound off keeper Ernest Adu following a free-kick to fire home.