Sports News of Wednesday, 21 January 1998
Kumasi (Ashanti Region), 19 Jan.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko beat Real Tamale United (RTU) 2-0 in their match played at the Kumasi Sport Stadium. Kotoko underlined their determination of carrying the day when they kicked-off and took the RTU defence of RTU and laid on a pass for overlapping Emmanuel Ampiah who shot wide. RTU hit back immediately forcing a third minute corner-kick when hard-pressed defender Victor Aidoo kicked the ball over the line but the resultant kick was wasted. From then on RTU, led in attack by centre-forward Shamo Abbey, put Kotoko under a siege, confusing them with fast dashes but they could not score. The visitors attacked in burst as Kotoko Midfield broke down, forcing a second corner-kick in the 14th minute but the Kotoko defence stood gallantly. Kotoko intensified the attack as they pushed more men forward forcing RTU to concede a corner-kick in the 19th minute but they could not utilize the kick, taken by right winger Kwaku Frempong. Kotoko, cheered on by the large crowed, shot into the lead in the 29th minute when left winger Aplehe, outpaced the defence and laid on a pass to unmarked inside left Prince Adu-Poku, who beat goalkeeper Oscar Asamoah with a glancing header. RTU fought back like wounded tigers, and twice came close to equalizing, but Shamo Abbey and Agyemang Prempeh shot off target in the 31st and 32nd minutes respectively. In the 35th minute Abbey headed over the cross bar when Kotoko goalkeeper Abukari Kankani was displaced. Kotoko repulsed the attacked but were unlucky as a powerful shot from Aplehe hit the woodwork and rebounced but there was nobody around to drive it home. Referee Solomon Yamoah of Koforidua showed right full-back Kenneth Wepare of RTU the yellow card for dissent in the 44th minute. After RTU had wasted a 53rd minute corner-kick, they pulled out right winger Abass Iddirsu for Samuel Nartey who brought much vim to their attack. Kotoko, who went on the Rampage, forced three corner-kicks in the 58th, 59th and 67th minutes as they pinned RTU to the wall but failed to increase the tally. In the 64th minute right-half back Marcus Boafo of RTU attracted the yellow card for a foul on Prince Adu-Poku and two minutes later right-half back Victor Aidoo of Kotoko was also booked for rough play. RTU brought in fresh limbs when Shamo Abbey gave way to Mawiah Mohammed in the 79th minute. Two minutes later, RTU conceded a penalty when Aplehe, who was a torn in the flesh of their defence, was brought down in the penalty area. Backed by cheers from the massive crowd, Kotoko went on all out to in the hope of increasing the tally but the trenchant RTU defence pivoted around Bobby Abdulai stood gallantly.