The Porcupine Warriors showed character to comeback twice to earn a point at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday
Asante Kotoko had to settle for a 3-3 draw game with Liberty Professionals in Kumasi to kick off the second round of the Ghana Premier League with a point.
Ransford Osei replaced injured Kofi Nti Boakye in the starting lineup, whilst Isaac Amoako maintained his starting role for the second game in succession. On loan player Augustine Okran started the game for Liberty Professionals.
Having mustered eight draws in the first round, Kotoko coach Mas-Ud Dramani would have been relieved to be afforded a helping hand just after 15 minutes of play when Michael Akuffo put Ransford Osei through on goal and found himself in a one-on-one situation with the Liberty goalkeeper, but the latter shot wide to the disbelief of his coach and the supporters in attendance.
The Fabulous lads were left to rue their missed chances as the visitors capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty box after a delightful corner kick from Okran to open the scoring after 20 minutes of play through Ebenezer Assifouh. There were further snap shots from the Liberty strikers but Amoako and the goalpost conspired to keep the score-line at 1-0. Liberty kept piling on the pressure as Kotoko looked rattled after conceding first.
Bancey was introduced for the largely anonymous Mpong before the commencement of the second half, this change, however, added a bit of bite upfront for the Porcupine Warriors as they got a foothold on the match with Bancey at the heart of everything good for the home side.
It was chance after chance, miss after miss for the defending champions and it looked like Kotoko will never score until the 73rd minute when striker Osei profited from Bancey’s dazzling flick to slot the ball home to restore parity, a quick fire double from the Porcupines when Bancey finished off a superb move with aplomb. Dozy defending from Kotoko in the 79th minute resulted in Ochaya heading the ball into his own net to make it two all on the day. Liberty had grown in confidence and were duly rewarded with a third goal through striker Kennedy Ashia. The game was done and dusted but Kotoko will be awarded with a fortuitous penalty decision in the 91st minute, Azzaro stepped up and coolly slotted home the ball to restore parity and thereby maintaining their unbeaten status at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium this term.