Asante Kotoko scored three second half goals to beat AshantiGold SC 3-1 on Match Day 12 of the Ghana Premier League at the Baba Yara sports stadium on Sunday.
The Ashanti derby that pit the League leaders against their struggling Regional rivals produced four second goals after the first half ended barren.
Asante Kotoko came into the game buoyed by their 2-0 win over Aduana FC last weekend while AshantiGold SC needed a win to end their 4 match winless run.
Cameroonian import Thierry Mbella Etouga set the stadium alive in the second half with a stunning hat-trick to ensure that the Reds won convincingly to move to the apex of the League table. Thierry Mbella opened his goal account in the 55th minute when he converted a penalty kick.
The referee whistled for a spot kick after a defender of AshantiGold dived to intercept Etouga’s goal bound header with his hand. The Cameroonian stood up to the task and slotted home calmly for the first goal of the match.
Etouga doubled the lead for Kotoko in the 67th minute after taking advantage of a defensive error to smash home before completing a hat-trick five minutes later after connecting a low cross from the inside of the box to seal the three points for the hosts.
With six minutes to end proceedings, substitute Elijah Addai pulled one back for the Miners who extended their winless streak to five games.
The win takes Asante Kotoko to the top of the Premier League table with 26 points – three points ahead of second placed Aduana FC who beat Elmina Sharks 1-0 at the Nduom stadium.
Bright Adjei scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute to give the two-time Champions a vital win on the road.
King Faisal lost the top spot Sunday afternoon after losing to Eleven Wonders 2-0 at the Ohene Ameyaw Park at Techiman. King Faisal were joint top of the log heading into the match but thed loss meant they slipped to the third spot. Top marksman Ibrahim Laar scored a brace within seven second half minutes to stun King Faisal.
In Dawu – Dreams FC lost their first match at the theatre of Dreams this season after a Huzaif Ali’s penalty miss helped Legoin Cities to their second away win of the season. Obuor Adu scored the match winner – five minutes after the break to give the Royals an important away win.
Augustine Okrah dazzled yet again at the Fosu Gyeabuor Park where Bechem United dispatched Real Tamale United 2-0 to maintain their top four ambitions. The former Asante Kotoko forward netted in the 18th minute before Emmanuel Annor added the second for the Hunters to take home the three points.
In Accra Karela United left it late as they scored in the 86th minute to deny Accra Great Olympics the three points at the Accra Sports stadium. Accra Great Olympics drew the first blood through Raymond Oko Grippman inside 66 minutes but after failing to add to the tally, Karela United rallied back to score the equalizer 4 minutes from time through Emmanuel Owusu Boakye as the game ended 1-1.
Earlier on Friday Berekum Chelsea frustrated Medeama SC at the Akoon Park in a 1-1 stalemate. Midfielder Kwesi Donsu rescued the day for the mauves and yellows as he scored in stoppage time to give them a point. Mohammed Alhassan put Chelsea ahead on the half hour mark before Donsu’s magic in the dying embers gave the home side a draw.
James Sewornu was simply unstoppable in Bibiani where Hearts of Oak beat Gold Stars 1-0 at DUN’S Park. The defender who played at right back following the suspension of Captain Mohammed Fatau smashed home the only goal of the match on the half hour mark to give the Champions all the spoils.
Finally, Accra Lions drew goalless with WAFA at the Accra Sports stadium on Saturday.