By Yussif Ibrahim,
Kumasi, Dec. 04, GNA – A rejuvenated Asante Kotoko added Berekum Chelsea to their list of casualties after defeating them 1:0 in their match week 13 encounter of the Ghana Premier League at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Steve Dese Mukwala put up a man-of-the-match performance to inspire the Porcupines to their third consecutive win after a winless run which left them in the relegation zone.
The Ugandan import who appears to have found his scoring boots was a delight to watch as the home fans sang his name throughout the match.
Kotoko could have scored an avalanche of goals if they had taken their chances in the first half which saw many opportunities being squandered.
Asante Kotoko served early notice of going all out for the three maximum points by raiding the goal area of Berekum Chelsea right from the blast of the whistle.
They forced the visitors to block three goal-bound shots from entering the net in the third minute with goalkeeper Gregory Obeng Sekyere scoring full marks on that occasion.
The Porcupine Warriors continued to keep their opponents in their half as they displayed possessive football which left players of Berekum Chelsea chasing the ball fruitlessly.
It took the visitors 15 minutes to warm themselves into the game after surviving sustained attacks from all angles.
They started making inroads in the Kotoko half with Stephen Amankona and Mezack Afriyie leading the onslaught. Their involvement was however short-lived as Kotoko broke the deadlock through Steve Dese Mukwala after a counterattack.
The Ugandan’s first effort from close range was prevented from entering the net but the goal poacher made a follow-up to tap it in for the opener. His goal proved to be the difference between the two teams as they went into the break. With a goal deficit, Berekum Chelsea resumed the second half a better side compared to the opening 45 minutes.
They hit the ground running with attacking intent unlike how they started the first half, but were profligate in front of goal, allowing Kotoko to find their rhythm as the game progressed.
With 20 minutes to end proceedings, both teams vigorously pushed for the next goal which could either seal victory for Kotoko or bring the visitors into the game.
The last 10 minutes saw an end-to-end action characterised by hard tackling from both sides with Chelsea being the worst culprits. This resulted in several temporary breaks to the advantage of Kotoko who went on to secure their third consecutive victories after a torrid start to the season.