Asante Kotoko are back in contention to qualify for the knockout stage of the Caf Confederation Cup following a slender win over Zesco United on Wednesday.
The Porcupine Warriors beat 2-1 the Zambians in Kumasi in their second group game in Kumasi after losing their opening match 1-0 in Sudan against Al Hilal.
Kwame Bonsu and Emmanuel Gyamfi scored the goals with goalkeeper Felix Annan saving a penalty to hand Zesco their first defeat in West Africa in three years.
Kotoko’s win blows the group wide open with all four teams on three points.
Kotoko showed their intent right from the blast of the referees' whistle as they mounted ceaseless pressure on their opponents.
The pressure paid off when they took the lead on nine minutes through midfielder Kwame Bonsu whose long-range effort took a ricochet off teammate Abdul Fatawu Safiu to beat the Zesco United goalkeeper Jacob Banda.
Burkinabe striker Songne Yacouba wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 for the Porcupine Warriors in the 11th minute.
Zesco were afforded a huge opportunity to draw level after earning a penalty in the 23rd minute but goalkeeper Felix Annan produced a stunning save to deny Jesse Jackson.
Two minutes later, Emmanuel Gyamfi doubled Emmanuel Gyamfi doubled Kotoko’s lead after connecting home Sogne Yacouba’s low pass with the outside of his boot from the left.
Kotoko held on to finish the first half with a commanding lead.
In the second half, Yacouba wasted three great chances to increase Kotoko’s tally before Zesco got themselves into the game thanks to a goal by Ghanaian striker Rahim Osmanu in the 72nd minute.
He slotted in between the two Kotoko centre-backs and headed pass an on-rushing Annan.
Ten minutes away from time, Kotoko winger Baakoh shot from outside the box but goalkeeper Banda was up to the task to parry it out.
In the 85th minute, Annan pulled a great save to put Rahim Osmanu's blistering header on a corner kick out.
Two minutes from time, Bonsu was denied a personal brace second and Kotoko's third when his header came off the side post.
This was after Baakoh's shot was parried back into play.
Zesco United ended the match with ten men when Kondwani Mtonga received a straight red for a silly tackle- deliberately stepping-on substitute Stephen Nyarko.
The Porcupine Warriors next game is against Nkana FC in Zambia on Februay 24.Read Full Story