June 23, 2021

Keita strikes as Asante Kotoko leave it late in Ghana Premier League clash with King Faisal 

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The Guinean forward rose to the occasion to help the Porcupine Warriors to three points in Techiman

A late Naby Laye Keita strike secured Asante Kotoko a 1-0 triumph over King Faisal in the Ghana Premier League on Wednesday.

The Guinean’s 86th-minute effort broke Faisal’s resilience in the matchday 15 tie at the Ohene Ameyaw Stadium in Techiman.

The win lifts Abdul Gazale’s fold to fourth on the league table, tied on points with archrivals Hearts of Oak. Faisal, on the other hand, are in 16th position with a relegation battle.

Striker Kwame Opoku was named in the Kotoko starting XI, despite media rumours of having signed a four-year deal with Algerian side USM Alger.

Faisal talisman Kwame Peprah, who has been linked to Hearts of Oak and Kotoko as potential replacements for Opoku, unsurprisingly led his outfit.

Whereas Opoku came into the game with six goals to his name, Peprah boasted nine strikes.

Augustine Okrah was the earliest to go close to finding the back of the net, his free-kick going just wide in the third minute.

A minute later at the other end, Faisal similarly replied with a Richard Wiafe free-kick which struck the upright.

Kotoko’s Patrick Asmah then forced Faisal goalkeeper Kaisan Yuisu into a save, before Elvis Nyarko’s shot from the edge of the opposite box rolled off target.

On 31 minutes, Kwadwo Frimpong missed a close-range chance to put the ‘Inshallah’ Boys in front. Ten minutes later, Peprah was picked out by Wadudu Yakubu but the final shot was comfortably handled by Kotoko goalkeeper Kwame Baah, who displaced first-choice Razak Abalora to the bench.

Two minutes after the break, Wiafe headed wide, and five minutes later, Kotoko’s Imoro Ibrahim struck a shot against the upright.

In the 68th minute, Opoku set up Brazilian midfielder Fabio Gama but the playmaker’s shot from close range went off target.

Keita registered the solitary goal of the game six minutes to full-time, latching onto a pass inside the box, dribbling past a defender before releasing a low left-footed shot into the far post for the match-winner.

In their chase for a 24th league title, Kotoko will be eyeing a second straight win when they host Eleven Wonders in their next game.