Asante Kotoko cruised to a hard fought 1-0 victory over defending champions Berekum Chelsea on Wednesday night at the Baba Yara Stadium to pull three points clear.

Michael Akuffo converted an 80th minute penalty to claim all three points for the Porcupine Warriors as Hans Van der Plyum’s tasted his first defeat as Chelsea coach.

Ghana international goalkeeper Ernest Sowah reclaimed the first choice spot for Chelsea with skipper Abdul Basit and the nimble-footed Solomon Asante named in midfield. {jcomments on}

Prince Anokye returned to his former employers and impressed in the first half.

Kotoko coach Maxwell Konadu named Ahmed Toure in attack with Michael Annaba and David Offei providing support.

Both sides were poised to scrap all three points but it was Berekum Chelsea, the visitors, who played with unified purpose in the opening minutes.

Emmanuel Clottey skipped past three Kotoko defenders before firing a stinging but missed the target by just inches away.

Striker Toure responded for Kotoko racing into space and shot wide.

The Ivorian fired a glorious shot which sailed over Ernest Sowah’s crossbar.

Plyum’s side took charge of midfield but were unable to make use of the any of the opportunities that came their way.

Kotoko returned from the recess with a new sense of urgency as Michael Akuffo hummed to life in midfield.

Chelsea’s Solomon Asante had very little impact to make as he was replaced.

Kotoko’s moment of glory arrived when Ernest Sowah fouled Nathaniel Asamoah inside the box.

The former Wa All Stars striker appeared in a position to score when the Black Stars hopeful blocked him.

Referee Joseph Lamptey pointed to spot with Chelsea having little complains to make.

Akuffo elected himself to dart home the winner with an expertly taken low grounder to the right side and Sowah diving to the left.

Substitute Musa Mohammed tried to pull a chestnut out of the blazing fire with speculative shot on the 85th minute.

Kotoko are now three points richer than arch-rivals Hearts of Oak who are in second place with 21 points.

 

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