Kotoko needed a first half strike by Osman Ibrahim to beat Legon Cities in Accra

It wasn’t pleasing. It could have been more convincing. It could have sent a statement to the rest of the league.

But Asante Kotoko didn’t care.

At least judging from reactions as the final whistle went. Players couldn’t hide their excitement which from afar seemed like a sigh of relief.

Circumstances were getting more complicated for Maxwell Konadu who hadn’t picked a win this season prior to the game against Legon Cities.

For Kotoko who are title favourites, the urgency was visible right from the onset. The Kumasi-based side pressed Legon Cities and dominated proceedings.

Kotoko got their reward through Osman Ibrahim who beautifully slotted a driven cross by Patrick Asmah.

Ibrahim forced his way into Maxwell Konadu’s team after scoring eight goals in 15 games on loan at King Faisal last season.

The forward looked a real threat alongside Kotoko who looked like they were poised to score the second goal of the game.

Unfortunately, Ibrahim had to be stretched off on the 40th minute and was replaced by Evans Adomako.

The Porcupine Warriors went into the break in control. Legon Cities, on the other hand, lacked energy and imagination.

The half-time break served as a proper demarcation in the balance of play.

Bashir Hayford was first out of the tunnel as it was obvious from his mannerisms in the first half that he had given his players the “blow dryer” treatment in the dressing room.

Legon Cities went on to create several opportunities in the second half as they dictated play.

Rafael Ocloo missed two clear cut chances and was replaced by Asamoah Gyan who failed to have an impact after coming on.

Emmanuel Gyamfi was put through on goal in the latter stages of the game but his shot was hit straight at Fatau Dauda.

Fatau Dauda was named man of the match after making as many saves.

But for Dauda’s heroics, the result could have been fairly comfortable for Maxwell Konadu’s men.

Dauda, as a result, was appointed man of the match as Kotoko walked away with three points.

Second half difficulties for Konadu

Prior to the game against Legon Cities, Kotoko had drawn 1-1 against Techiman Eleven Wonders and Berekum Chelsea.

On both occasions, the Porcupine Warriors took the lead and then surrendered them in the second half.

The pattern was Kotoko play well and then score first and slowly allow their opponents back into the game.

This pattern extended to the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round match against Nouadhibou where Kotoko took an early lead and lost their momentum once again.

Despite breaking their winless streak against Legon Cities, these problems were very evident once again.

Legon Cities grew into the game and asked a bit too many questions of the Kotoko defence in the second half.

Head coach of Kotoko, Konadu admitted after the game that his side will have to do more in order to win the title.

“It’s is a difficult league and I know that we have to do much better if we want to win it.”

Konadu and Kotoko will have the chance to do much better when they host in-form Great Olympics at the Accra Sports stadium.