Asante Kotoko began life without ‘Step aside’ coach David Duncan on a good note by beating surging Liberty professionals 3-1 at the Baba Yara stadium on Sunday.
Interim manager Michael Osei’s charges exhibited by far their best performance this campaign to extend their unbeaten run at home to eight games.
But it didn’t come cheap as Kotoko had to overcome a first minute strike from Latif Blessing by scoring three goals to record only their second victory of the season.
Captain Amos Frimpong returned to the fold after missing the 1-0 defeat at Aduana because of suspension to score as well as Ahmed Adams and striker Mohammed Dauda also found the back of the net for Kotoko.
The Visitors declared their intentions from the blast of referee Otis Oppong whistle by piling pressure on Kotoko. The pressure paid off, with only two minutes played.
Kotoko quickly after falling behind upped their game. They changed the mentality to a more attacking approach, bombarding Liberty with attacks which yielded dividends.
Eric Donkor’s brilliant cross found strong center back Ahmed Adams who headed past listless goalkeeper Dida to fetch the equaliser for the Reds.
Kotoko did not relent after getting the equaliser. They pressed well and were rewarded again in the 31st minute.
Dauda Mohammed capitalised on a defensive blunder to give Kotoko the lead in the first department of the game. Dauda’s strike also happened to be the league’s 100th goal this season.
However, Liberty lost a man as Daniel Kodie was sent off couple of minutes to recess to compound the problems of Scientific soccer lads on the day.
The second half started from where it left off in the first, with Kotoko huffing and puffing for a third goal as against Liberty sitting deep in defence.
Liberty were able to prevent 11 man Kotoko from scoring for almost 40 minutes until whizkid Mohammed Dauda was brought down in the box after outwitting his marker.
Referee subsequently awarded Kotoko a penalty. Amos Frimpong stepped up and converted convincingly to hand Kotoko all spoils.
The result sees Kotoko move from bottom of the table to the delight of demanding fans.
Coach Kenichi Yatshuhashi had Burkina international Soulama Abdoulaye back in the post after he missed the 3-1 defeat to Wa All Stars due to arriving late from international duty.
Techiman City remained unchanged with super star Baba Mahama named in the team alongside Manu who was supposed to get the goals for the home side.
Experienced referee William Agbovi was in charge of this one after the problems with Ernest Bafi in the Phobians in the last games.
Hearts of Oak’s new found hero Ibrahim Musah was the first to test goalkeeper Boateng who was in post for Techiman City but the goalkeeper responded very well with a clean catch.
The first 30 minutes saw Techiman City dominate the game with Baba Mahama asking all the questions but the Hearts of Oak defence stood tall and cut out all the danger.
Baba Mahama should have opened the scoring but his effort looked very feeble and allowed goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye to gather the ball.
Samuel Kyere and Foovi Aguide had good chances to give the Phobians the lead but both found ways of missing the chances that were very difficult to miss than to score.
The next opportunity in the game fell to Mohammed Idrissu for Techiman City but the midfielder tried to be too clever and his effort was gathered by Soulama Abdoulaye.
Ollenu Ashitey was the next to try Boateng in post for Techiman City but even though he beat the goalkeeper his shot was very high and wide to the relieve of the hundreds of Hearts of Oak fans.
Foovi Aguidi sent in a powerful strike but the goalkeeper for Techiman City parried away and kept the score-line tight.
Both teams shared the points but you get the feeling that Hearts of Oak will be delighted with the game.
ASHGOLD 0-1 DREAMS FC
TECHIMAN CITY 0-0 HEART OF OAK
WA ALL STARS 1-0 EBUSUA DWARFS
INTER ALLIES 4-0 BECHEM UNITED
ASANTE KOTOKO 3-1 LIBERTY
BEREKUM CHELSEA 1-0 ADUANA STARS
WAFA 1-1 NEW EDUBIASE
MEDEAMA VRS HASAACAS POSTPONED