Elmina Sharks fairytale run this season in Ghana Premier League was smashed on Wednesday following a 2-0 defeat to Asante Kotoko in matchday 13 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Sharks were without a defeat in their last ten fixtures, picking six wins and four stalemates. Two second half goals from Emmanuel Gyamfi and Sogna Yacouba were enough to give Kotoko a crucial win.
Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin made five changes to the team that defeated Bechem in their last game.
Yacouba returned following the release of Sadick Adams and Yakubu Yakubu, while youngsters Richard Frimpong, Agyemang Badu, Richard Senamu and Ibrahim Osman, who joined the club last week, made their debut appearances in the top-flight.
The visitors, on the other hand, had Kotoko's former midfielder Richard Mpong leading the side, with Felix Addo in attack.
After a slow start by Sharks, Yacouba produced a magnificent touch to bring down Amos Frimpong's delivery at the back post by the third minute, but his thumping shot across goal was blocked by Sharks' defence.
The visitors managed to keep Kotoko out for the next ten minutes after which Osman was handed an opportunity to break the deadlock by the 19th minute following a miss-kick by Sharks goalkeeper Atta, however, the young striker fired wide.
By the 35th minute, Sharks’ Richard Mpong combined with Benjamin Tweneboah to set up Addo but the final action was thwarted by goalkeeper Felix Annan.
Kotoko brought on Frederick Boateng after the break to bolster their attack, which proved fruitful as it helped to overcome the visitors’ bulwark.
By the 61st minute, Emmanuel Gyamfi connected a cross from skipper Frimpong and drove it into the back net to hand the Porcupines the lead.
Sogna Yacouba made it 2-0 for Kotoko by the 75th minute after heading home a long cross destined for Elmina’s Benjamin Arthur.
With six minutes remaining, Addo had a chance to reduce the deficit after picking a loose ball in Kotoko's area but Wahab Adams’ timely intervention saved the hosts.
Kotoko now occupy sixth place on the log with 20 points, three points behind toppers Medeama, who have an outstanding game.