Kotoko beats Ashgold 1-0 to win Ashanti derby

Asante Kotoko midfielder, Fabio Gama Dos Santos

Asante Kotoko SC got the better of AshantiGold SC in the crunchy Ashanti derby at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi on Sunday.

The 1-0 victory over the Miners take them to the summit of the league standings as Hearts of Oak plays their fixture in the evening against Great Olympics.

Kotoko trainer Mariano Barreto Jeronimo made four changes to the squad that held Aduana Stars to a goalless draw in Dormaa last week.

Kwame Baah was the preferred choice between the sticks in the absence of Razak Abalora who is with the Black Stars for upcoming international friendlies.

Wahab Adams replaced suspended Habib Mohammed whereas Patrick Kojo Asmah took the place of Augustine Okrah.

Young defender Andrews Kwadwo Appau was handed his first start in the Redshirt.

AshantiGold assistant coach Thomas Duah made two alterations to the squad that lost 1-0 to Legon Cities FC last week at the Len Clay stadium.

Richard Osei Agyemang returned to the starting lineup in place of Empem Dacosta.

David Abagna Sandan also came back from suspension to replace Yaw Annor in the starting lineup for the regional derby.

AshantiGold got the first attempt on goal in the early exchanges of the match but Mark Agyekum’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Kwame Baah in the 7th minute.

Kotoko nearly got the lead in the 21st minute as a free-kick by Asmah from the edge of the box struck the framework

The Porcupine Warriors opened the scoring two minutes later with Brazilian playmaker Fabio Gama dos Santos heading home a beautiful cross from Asmah on the left.

AshantiGold goalie Mensah made a stupendous save to prevent Kotoko from doubling their advantage as he tipped Emmanuel Keyekeh’s free-kick over the crossbar on the stroke of halftime.

The biggest chance in the second half fell the way of AshantiGold but Annor with a yawning net ballooned the ball over the crossbar as the Porcupine Warriors claimed all maximum points.

Kotoko will travel to Dawu to take relegation-threatened Inter Allies FC in the next round of matches.

AshantiGold will host Ebusua Dwarfs next weekend.