Medeama Sporting Club was yesterday beaten 2-0 on matchday 31 of the Ghana Premier League by the Kumasi Asante Kotoko to end Medeama’s hopes of fighting for the ultimate in the 2021/2022 season.
Two goals from defender Andrew Appau and Franck Mbella Etouga in the 23rd and 45th minutes of the first half respectively were enough to pull breaks on Medeama were undefeated in their previous five matches, and a back to back defeat this season against the Kumasi based side.
Goalkeeper John Moosie kept the post in Coach Umar Rabbi’s with a three-back system of Vincent Atinga, Kofi Asmah, and Baba Musa with captain Kwesi Donsu, Prosper Boakye, Jean Vital in the heart of midfield while deploying Darlington Gyanfosu and Benjamin Abaidoo as wing-backs, with Ansu Kofi Partick and Ato Mensah Justice leading the attack.
Medeama SC started on a strong note creating some decent chances in the early stages of the game which started with high energies from both sides after the media-hyped and the presence of massive spectatoring at the Akoon Park but could not convert their chances to goals until Kotoko took over to control the game and also question Medeama’s defense but they stood up to the occasion especially the defense leader, Vincent Atinga, who got the better of the GPL topscorer, Frank Mbella.
The breakthrough however came when Kotoko made their third corner kick of the afternoon counter after defender Andrew Kwadwo Appau converted beautifully Imoro Ibrahim’s corner with his head to give the visitors the lead in the 23rd minute.
Frank Mbella doubled the lead for the Kumasi side after a counterattack from Medeama’s attacking which saw Samuel Boateng of Kotoko take control of a one-on-one situation with Baba Musa to invite two Kotoko players, Mudasiru and the eventual scorer, Mbella who rounded John Moosie before slotting home his 20th goal of the season.
Mudasiru Salifu of Kotoko, who was already in the books of Referee Sefa alongside Vincent Atinga for a yellow card, was shown the marching orders after a second bookable offense on Prosper Owusu Boakye before the first half ended.
Coach Umar Rabi made two quick changes to his team before the start of the second half with Ebenezer Ackhabi and Kwadwo Asamoah coming on for Ansu Patrick and Darlington Gyanfosu to improve the game, while shifting from a 3-5-2 system to a 4-3-3 and to trouble Kotoko but Kotoko remained unfazed by the threats.
Theophilus Anoba, Agyei Boakye, and Rashid Nortey also replaced Justice Ato Mensah, Prosper Boakye, and Kwesi Donsu but non of the changes could help Medeama to put a ball past Danlad Ibrahim, though Medeama SC took control of the game, yet the 10 Asante Kotoko men on the pitch managed the game very well and protected their two goals advantage until the final whistle to pipe away the three maximum points at stake at the Akoon Park to stretch their lead to 9 points gap with 59 accumulated points.
The defeat to Kotoko drags Medeama back to 3rd on the league log, the same 50 points as second-placed Bechem United who got a point from their away game against WAFA but with a better head to head over Medeama SC.
Medeama SC is left with one task and that is to seal a top finish in their remaining three matches against Elmina Sharks, Accra Lions, and Dreams FC in that order.