Kotoko on Sunday played tirelessly to earn a point at the Golden City Park against Berekum Chelsea on match day two of the 2016/17 Premier League. It was a tense encounter of fair chances particularly in the first half, where Kotoko held Berekum Chelsea excellently.
Centre backs Abeiku Ainooson, Awudu Nafiu and Ahmed Adams contained Chelsea’s attack. Yakubu Mohammed, leading Kotoko upfront, wasn’t really present. He was put in check by Chelsea’s defence until he was substituted. Kotoko was the dominant side in the second half.
They pushed Berekum Chelsea into their half as they frantically searched for the opener. Chelsea maintained their quality at the back. They occasionally attacked, delivered some fantastic shots to the test the agility of goalie, Felix Annan, who was in stupendous form.
In the 52nd minute, Annan was the savior when he soared superbly to push Eric Ametepe’s powerful drive over the cross to awe of the home crowd. The applause from Kotoko fans were massive. Emmanuel Gyamfi, who would be picked as the Man of the Match, characteristically, tormented Berekum Chelsea’s backline, cutting deep into their half and the goal area.
He did that with cheeky ease but failed to get the ball into the net. In the 53rd minute, Emmanuel Gyamfi smartly dummied his marker on the edge of the box but his brilliant shot agonizingly flew across goal. Kotoko kept more pressure on Berekum Chelsea from then.
With the introduction of Ollenu Ashitey for Abass Mohammed in the 55th minute, Kotoko remained in the driving seat. Ollenu created loads of problems for Chelsea with his shrewd touches, deft movements and faultless pace. Ollenu inspired Kotoko’s play so much, piling excellent pressure on Berekum Chelsea.
With resolute push from defence and midfield; Gyamfi and Ollenu’s display left Berekum Chelsea gasping for breath and living dangerously. The only thing Kotoko couldn’t do was getting the ball at the back of the net. Isaac Quansah and Prince Acquah replaced Yakubu Mohammed and Kwame Boahene in the 76th and 81st minutes respectively.
The substitutions fortified the midfield and provided great support for Gyamfi and Ollenu. Berekum Chelsea still remained strong however ending the game goalless.