BOGDAN Korak, Kotoko’s new coach was handed a baptism of fire when New Edubiase United edged past Asante Kotoko 2-1 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The defeat, Kotoko’s fourth in a row, typified the rot in the team and signalled the task ahead of the Serb who took over from Ebo Mends.
Korak was intent on beginning on a clean sheet but the team’s performance left an aftermath of misery on the supporters.
Playing against his former team, Stephen Manu led a hungry Edubiase attack to pummel Kotoko in the first half of the game during which the two goals were fetched.
The end-to-end stuff produced by the two sides kept the game alive in the early part but chances were difficult to come by until the ninth minute when Manu outran John Kuffour only to be denied by goalkeeper Soulama Abdulai.
A minute later Edubiase shot ahead when Nuhu Fuseini floated into the net on seeing Soulama attempting to fix his boots properly while off his line.
The visitors were in perpetual motion and on the 16th minute, Fuseini scored his second, arriving early to profit from Soulama’s fumble to a harmless ball.
Dogged defending by Edubiase’s back four of Emmanuel Nti Mensah, Baba Gullit, Richard Adjei and Iddrisu Yahaya shut the door to the Kotoko attack, save some few galloping runs from Samed Oppong.
Daniel Nii Adjei, Ofosu Appiah and Edward Affum who substituted David Offei after 27 minutes came close in the dying minutes of the half, increasing the frustration in the team.
Kotoko returned from recess transformed and exploded in the opponents half when Kabiru Moro was introduced into the game for Omar Gariba. The gangling striker swept forward at every opportunity but stout defending from Edubiase, backed by brilliant goalkeeping from Nicholas Addo, who kept palming away and blocking shots with his body, to keep the scoreline intact.
Kotoko pulled a goal back on the 71st minute when referee Yaw Ametepe judged Emmanuel Nti Mensah to have fouled Samed Oppong in the box. Nii Adjei made no mistake from the spot.
When Samed Oppong blazed two gilt-edged opportunities away in the dying minutes of the game, one grazing the post, it became evident that Kotoko were in to lose for the fourth time running.