Asante Kotoko SC’s quest to retain their Ghana Premier League title suffered a minor setback on Sunday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw by newly-promoted Tamale City. The match, which was played at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, saw the Ghanaian top-flight newcomers display a spirited performance to earn a vital point from the encounter.
Kotoko’s interim coach Abdulai Gazale made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to Great Olympics in the midweek, with Dickson Afoakwa earning his fourth start of the season. Shadrack Addo replaced Ivorian import Eric Serge Zeze, who was absent due to an injury, while Enoch Morrison replaced the suspended Richmond Nii Lamptey. City’s coach Mohammed Hamza also made a couple of changes to the team that humbled giants Hearts of Oak by a 4-1 scoreline in Tamale last Wednesday.
The Porcupine Warriors dominated the early exchanges of the game and were rewarded with a stunning goal from youngster Rocky Dwanema in the 36th minute. Dwanema received a short pass before launching a thunderous strike that beat the Tamale City goalkeeper. However, the newly-promoted side responded quickly and scored the equalizer a few minutes later through Mohammed Yahaya after taking advantage of a defensive mishap by Kotoko.
Despite the introduction of substitute Godfred Abban, who almost secured a late winner for Tamale City, the match ended in a stalemate. Kotoko remains in sixth place on the league table with 43 points from 29 matches, seven points behind leaders Aduana Stars, who have a game in hand. For the most part, the result provides a glimmer of hope for Tamale City, who are battling to avoid relegation. Their recent performances against the top teams in the league suggest that they have what it takes to stay in the top-flight for another season.
In conclusion, Kotoko will need to improve their form if they want to retain their title this season. With only five matches left to play, the Porcupine Warriors need to start winning consistently if they hope to catch up with the league leaders. The next few weeks will be crucial for both Kotoko and Tamale City as they continue their respective battles in the Ghana Premier League.
Source: Ghana Soccernet