KUMASI Asante Kotoko restored a little of their pride with a 2-0 victory over New Edubiase United in an outstanding Glo Premier league match at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday.
The consequences of another ignominious performance would have been disastrous for the team, and they put in everything to pluck two second half goals through Alex Asamoah and Kwabena Yaro.
But, Kotoko’s victory provided little to show a transformed side as they struggled over a greater part of the match to overcome a ramshackle New Edubiase.
Returning to local action after their exit from the CAF Champions League, Kotoko needed something to appease their fans and they opened up fiercely.
Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin reshuffled his team playing Baffour Gyan and Alex Asamoah in attack but they struggled to face up to the defensive play of New Edubiase.
By the seventh minute Alex Asamoah had received the first booking for dissent in the match that saw a total of six yellow cards. Near misses characterised Kotoko’s play as Baafour Gyan ( 17th and 23rd minutes) and Alex Asamoah (42nd minute) blasted away glorious opportunities.
The restart saw Edubiase bringing themselves into the game with Nuhu Mohammed and Seidu Bansi cutting through from the wings but the Kotoko defence remained unyielding.
Daniel Nii Adjei was introduced in the game in the 57th minute replacing the moribund Francis Akwaffo and he appeared to have changed the game as Kotoko rode on the high tempo. In one of the terrific attacks, Alex Asamoah managed to put the ball behind keeper Osei Boateng after the keeper had fumbled with the ball but referee Agbovi overruled the goal for a foul on the keeper.
Kwadwo Poku was brought on to replace Osei Kwame in the 63rd minute and Kotoko kept pressing for the opener, which materialised after 67 minutes.
Michael Ofosu Appiah floated the ball into the area and Alex Asamoah beat his markers to finish off.
Both sides made changes with Edubiase bringing on Francis Bossman and Kwame Asimeng, while Kotoko introduced Kwabena Yaro into the game.
It became clear that Edubiase lacked the technical skills and attacking prowess to cause a stir and Kotoko kept the heat on their opponents.
With nine minutes to end the game Yaro put the game beyond the reach of Edubiase when he fetched the second goal from a fast Kotoko break.