Berekum Chelsea got a double from Nigerien import Musa Mohammed to beat New Edubiase 2-1 in the GHALCA Glo G8 opener on Saturday in Sunyani.
The defending league champions were dominant but lacked the spark upfront to convert the scoring chances.
Former Hearts and Kotoko talisman Charles Taylor weaved his magic in the opening minutes but the Edubise back line composed of Emmnauel Nti Mensah, Nartey Polo, Carlos Coffie and Richard Adjei were resolute.
Edubiase coach Anthony Commey’s 4-3-3 formation rarely threatend the Berekum-based side. The first half was heading for a goalless draw when Taylor was fouled 20 metres away from the Edubiase goal by Stephen Afful in added on time.
Taylor released a short one to left-back Richard Kissi Boateng who turned in his marker inside out before lifting a cross to an unmarked Mohammed in the box and powered home the opener.
After the break, Edubiase settled and took the game to champions and surprised them with a leveller on 68 minutes.
Emmanuel Baffoe turned in a cross from the Nartey Polo to beat Chelsea goalkeeper Ernest Sowah.
On 73rd minutes, Cheslea shot ahead courtesy former Etoile Filante striker Musa Mohammed who got behind the Edubiase defence to connect a through pass from substitute Eric Opoku.
Opoku’s first touch on the ball was to tee up the bulky forward who drifted away to the left and latched in with his weaker left foot.
Edubiase charge on referee Awal Mohammed and his assistant for refusing to call for an offside but television replay proved it was a correct decision.
Both sides failed to provide entertaining stuff to the sparse crowd at the Sunyani Coronation Park.
Chelsea captain Abdul Basit was booked four minutes later after the goal after controlling a pass with his hand inside the Edubiase box.
Ten minutes to full, the two sides put up some good defensive works.
Carlos Coffie cut out Awako’s searching pass and at the other end, former Kotoko player Prince Anokye and pair Richard Adjei blunted Edubiase’s three men upfront,
Chelsea’s right-back Emmanuel Agyeman picked up a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Atobra Asiedu on the touchlines.
Edubiase threw on striker Alhaji alhassan for midfielder Stephen Afful and with a minute left for play, Euguene Amoah’s through pass to Baffoe was cleared out by Prince Anokye.
Basit latched onto Musa Mohammed’s pass but the skipper fouled centre-back Richard Adjei.
Before the final whistle, Baffoe struck from long range after seeing goalkeeper Sowah off his line.
Aduana Stars play Heart of Lions in the second Group A match at the same venue.
New Edubiase: Kwaku Ofori-Emmnauel Nti Mensah, Nartey Polo, Carlos Coffie, Richard Adjei-Sakyi Quaye, Stephen Aful/Alhaji Alhassan, Asiedu Atobra-Stephen Manu/Kenneth Okine,Emmnauel Baffoe , Ebenezer Ofori.
Subs: Abeiku Awusi, Godfred Dickson , Alhaji Alhassan, Kelvin Opoku, Kenneth Okine, Euguene Amoah, Michael Abu
Chelsea: Ernest Sowah-Eric Agyemang, Kissi Boateng, Richard Afari, Prince Anokye- Yaw Alexander, Abdul Basit, Gladson Awako, Charles Taylor/Isaac Amponsah-Yasser Abdulai/Eric Opoku, Musah Mohammed
Subs: Samuel Kyere, Eric Opoku, Celestine Mba, Kwaku Andoh, Isaac Amponsah, John Mosi.
Referee: Mohammed Awal
Assistants: AS Malik and Dawood Oudragoe