THERE was no excitement in Kumasi yesterday as King Faisal played one of the best games in the Glo Premier League to force Asante Kotoko to a 2-2 draw in their city derby at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Despite failing to overtake rivals Hearts of Oak at the top of the league, Asante Kotoko sealed a place in next year’s CAF Champions League.
A half-full stadium expected a win for the Porcupine Warriors, while anticipating a slip by Hearts of Oak, but Faisal exhibited superb technique and tactics that should have won the day.
Showing maturity at the back, Daniel Addo and Awudu Nafiu swept off the Kotoko attack on countless occasions, with Kwabena Yaro being a mere passenger.
The impressive run of Faisal in the game gave them a smooth passage into the Kotoko area but wayward shooting, especially in the dying minutes of the game, cost them the vital points.
Faisal stunned the crowd just two minutes into the game when a brilliant passing game found Abdul Samad Oppong in space and he wasted no time firing past a sprawling Isaac Amoako.
Shortly after the goal, Kotoko regrouped and restored parity in the sixth minute from Louis Agyemang who finished off a Jordan Opoku free kick from the edge of the box.
The stage looked set for a great afternoon of football and Faisal responded with some brilliant midfield display with dribbler Ebo Andoh showing great talent.
Samad Oppong fetched his second on the quarter hour mark, powering home after Eric Kwaku Opoku had cut the ball back to him just inside the box.
Faisal’s Ofosu Mickey nearly killed off any hopes in the Kotoko team when his grounder hit the post in the 44th minute much to the relief of a well-beaten keeper Amoako who appeared jittery in his post.
The league’s top scorer, Alex Asamoah, was sent on at restart and he was at his threatening best, cutting inside down the left with speed and power.
Asamoah could not be denied a goal as he clawed back Faisal’s lead, planting the ball in the net from a Stephen Oduro rebound off the post in the 80th minute.