Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kotoko's dismal showing...FANS CALL FOR SHAKE-UP (GRAPHIC SPORTS, NOV 30, 2010, PAGE 11)

IT is now clear! Kumasi Asante Kotoko are in a mess and the fans believe only a major shake-up in the playing body could save the dwindling fortunes of the once-fearsome side.
Last Sunday night, the long-suffering supporters of the club summed up their frustration when they attempted to physically attack the players after an ignominious 2-3 home defeat to Berekum Chelsea in a Glo Premier League match at the Baba Yara Stadium.
It was Kotoko’s fifth defeat in six consecutive league matches, the worst in the 75-year history of the club. This means the Porcupine Warriros ( if they can still be so called) have picked just a point from the last six matches.
The manner Kotoko surrendered a two-goal lead to lose the match to Chelsea underlined the rot in the team, and some of the fans were seen weeping while the superstitious suggested a look into the spiritual world to salvage the club.
The incensed supporters massed up at the entrance to the dressing room calling for the blood of the players accusing them of proving nothing to deserve wearing the red jersey. It took the police a hectic time to control the supporters before the players who were holed up in the dressing room managed to board their bus home.
New Serbian coach, Bogdan Korak, will be left to reflect on the performance of the team since he took over, and perhaps admit that the journey ahead of him is murky. Clearly, the match provided evidence of a continuing lack of confidence within the playing body.
Chelsea coach, Abubakari Yusif, said after the match; "We made a tremendous input in the game tonight. It is a great result, and it shows that we can win the league”.
Kotoko Executive Chairman, Dr K.K. Sarpong, whose untiring efforts at getting the team back to winning ways appear fruitless, was seen driving off quickly after the match. It is likely management will put more players on the transfer list this week as efforts are made to bring in fresh legs.
But make no mistake. The character of the Chelsea team was as solid as a rock. Indeed, it underlined the shift of power in the local game. For ten minutes the two sides were finding it difficult to get into firing range and it was not until the 12th minute that Bismark Idan almost caught Kotoko off-guard with a rasping shot but young keeper George Arthur saved it.
Asante Kotoko came into the game strongly and found the opener on 17 minutes when defender Prince Boateng raced past his marker on the right to power home from a difficult angle. Kotoko got into their strides charging from the left and doubled the lead on the 20th minute through Ofosu Appiah.
When all thought the goal would deflate the league leaders, it rather emboldened them and they changed the complexion of the match, attacking in bursts with the jittery Kotoko defence unable to cope. As the Berekum side seized the middle and pushed forward for openings, they clawed one back on the 29th minute following a great build up from the middle that saw Yaw Alexander finishing off.
On the 37th minute, they levelled the score through Abdul Basit who drew inside out hapless Ofosu Appiah and John Kuffuor to sweep the ball past George Arthur in post. It was clear that Kotoko did not have the spirit to fight and Chelsea took full control of the second half as the pace, movement and ball control made the home side look very ordinary.
They found the leader on the 59th minute through national player, Emmanuel Clottey who fired home with a left footer from just inside the area.

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