Asante Kotoko failed to win at home for the first time this season after sharing the spoils on a goalless draw with Inter Allies in matchday nine of the Ghana Premier League at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday.
The hosts came into the game on the back of a defeat to rivals Hearts of Oak in the Super Clash while their visitors were chasing their first point in Kumasi after two attempts.
Kotoko coach Zdravko Lugarusic made three changes in his starting XI that lost to Hearts. Baba Mahama, Amos Frimpong and Abass Mohammed were handed starts in place of Ashittey Ollenu, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Frank Sarfo Gyamfi while Allies missed the services of striker Isaac Ossae and Uriah Kporvi through injuries.
After a pulsating opening eight minutes, Allies' defender Wahab Ackwei missed the target narrowly when he rose above Awudu Nafiu to meet Martin Antwi's corner kick.
Kotoko responded positively, pushing their visitors back to their own half and piling pressure on them. Eric Donkor almost scored the opener in a fascinating manner, from a volley 30 yards out. The defender latched onto a loose ball before sending a powerful shot but it was saved by goalkeeper Kwame Baah.
In a cagey midfield action, it was Ahmed Adams who had another chance in the first half, but the Allies goalkeeper stood firm to deny him in the 34th minute. Adams saw his last ditch effort cleared off the line by Baah through a fingertip save.
Kotoko made two changes after the break. Emmanuel Gyamfi and Ashittey Ollenu came on for Awal Mohammed and Abeiku Ainooson respectively. Gyamfi found his way through two defenders and almost broke the deadlock but, Fard Ibrahim thwarted the effort.
Baah denied Yakubu Mohammed from converting substitute Gyamfi's cutback eight minutes to time. The last chance of the game fell to substitute Samuel Komey Mensah, who came on for Samuel Bekoe. Allies broke loose in a counterattack but the young striker headed wide Frederick Boateng's cross in additional time.
Despite the stalemate, Kotoko have moved to the summit of the table for the first time this season with 18 points since Aduana's game against Wa All Stars was postponed due to the latter's participation in the Wafu tournament in Senegal.
Allies have also moved out of the relegation zone and now sit 13th on log with ten points.