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Soccer News of Wednesday, 23 July 2003

Source: GNA

Okwawu Holds Kotoko

Accra, July 23, GNA - Soccer Mountaineers, Okwawu United revisited their glorious past when they fought hard from a goal down to draw one-one with league leaders, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, in their seventh-week outstanding Kinapharma Premier League match played at the Accra Sport Stadium on Wednesday.

In a match which Okwawu deserved more than a point as they contested for every ball, especially in the midfield where Elvis Opoku had a good day and succeeded in reducing their opponents to a chasing pack for most part of the first half.

With Okwawu dominating, it came as no surprise when they created the early scoring chances in the 16th and 20th minutes, which Shaibu Issah and Osei Bonsu respectively wasted as their efforts went wide.

Kotoko accepted the challenge as they pulled themselves together and were nearly rewarded in the 29th minute when Daniel Acquah's header from a Michael Osei cross rebounded off the post for Shila Alhassan to head the loose ball into the hands of the Okwawu goalkeeper.

In the second half, Kotoko raised their game and within a minute came close but substitute Edmund Owusu-Ansah flashed the ball wide off the mark from a seemingly offside position inside the penalty box. Kotoko then took total control of the midfield and came close in the 53rd minute but Shila in a good position to score again headed straight into the hands of Joseph Aryeetey in post for Okwawu from a Michael Osei cross.

Kotoko, who found it very difficult to break the resolute defence of Okwawu brought in Nana Arhin Duah for Stephen Oduro, who did not have the best of games in the 60th minute.

Arhin-Duah's inclusion in the game nearly yielded the immediate result as his 71st minute shot was well saved by Aryetey.

Kotoko's second half performance paid off with the opening goal in the 75th minute when Arhin-Duah tapped in a Michael Osei cross from the right to the blind side of Okwawu's goalkeeper.

Okwawu roared back into the game after Kotoko's goal and put in a last ditch effort to salvage something from a game that they have not done badly at all.

Their efforts were rewarded in the 80th minute when tall Eric Mensah, who had been a thorn in the flesh of the Kotoko defence throughout the match headed a corner kick into the net for the equaliser.