A second half strike from new recruit, Kabiru Moro, secured victory for a sub-standard Kumasi Asante Kotoko as they struggled to a 2-1 victory over Sekondi Eleven Wise at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The gangling former striker of Real Tamale United made up for his unimpressive showing with that brilliant strike from close range on the 48th minute as Kotoko laboured to find their feet in their first home league match.
For the home fans who were expecting a vintage performance from their idol side, it dawned on them that Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin had a lot of work to do on the team to hit real winning form.
Kotoko kicked off in solid fashion, finding the net in just three minutes when midfielder Yahaya Ganiyu run into the box to do the damage from a throw-in.
Not ready to be outclassed in the game, Eleven Wise played impressively with midfield general, Michael Ocansey, spreading the game out from his area, but they found it difficult getting a smooth passage into firing range.
With the exchanges becoming hot, Kotoko’s Ofosu Appiah was booked on the sixth minute for dangerous play.
Wise who looked the more aggressive later were unlucky to even the scores when Abdulai Zakari’s freekick from 30 yards cannoned off the bar.
It appeared Kotoko were in for trouble and assistant coach, Yaw Acheampong, and team manager, Opoku Afriyie, were repeatedly seen joining Paa Kwasi Fabin on the lines to shout out instructions to the players.
Their back line of Ofosu Appiah, Prince Anokye, Gideon Baah and Mutalabi Mohammed struggled to contain the marauding Wise forward line featuring Paa Joe Kumah and Mohammed Alhassan, but the support services from Sam Ayew Yeboah were ineffective.
As Wise moved forward in droves, they left no one in doubt about their ability to cancel the Kotoko lead, and they did just that on the stroke of half-time when they worked out brilliantly from the middle and the last man in that attacking line, Nurudeen Yusuf, fired past Eric Nii Baah.
The restart saw Kotoko spreading the game to the wings and as they cut into the box, confusion surfaced in the Wise area. It was from that development that the homesters fetched the winning goal when Kabiru raced to meet Gideon Baah's cross.
Wise were let down by Mohammed Alhassan who shockingly wasted two glorious opportunities on the 57th and 59th minutes.
Kotoko exhausted their substitution with Isaac Owusu, Francis Coffie and Frank Boateng coming on for Gideon Baah, Prince Amoako and Jordan Opoku respectively, while Wise also made some changes but to no avail.