Kotoko took an unstable grip on the Golden Clash as they managed a slim 3-2 win over AshantiGold in the first leg of the regional derby in Kumasi on Sunday.
Saddick Adams opened the scores in the 36th minute, but Yacouba Songne drew parity in the 44th minute before Eric Donkor restored the lead for the visitors in the 55th minute, but Yacouba Songne equalised again in the 56th minute before Wahab Adams won the day for the hosts in the 67th minute.
The Golden Clash is a two-legged friendly encounter between the two Ashanti Region rivals, and the winner is expected to be determined based on superior goal aggregate.
Kotoko head into the second leg with just a goal advantage, and with AshantiGold scoring twice in Kumasi, the possibility of finding the net in Obuasi is high while it is the opposite for the Porcupines Warriors who failed to score in their last visit to the Len Clay.
With organisers yet to announce if there is a trophy at stake, the major target for both sides now is the bragging rights involved.
The buildup was hyped by boasts by AshantiGold that they would beat Kotoko at all cost, and making worsening it worse was the bragging of their President, Dr. Kwame Frimpong, that he would dash out his Lamborghini and a house in Accra should his side lose.
But, setting the pace for a pulsating encounter was Ashanti Gold’s line-up which paraded three players Kotoko offloaded in the last transfer window.
Matters got worse for the Kotoko faithfuls in the stands when one of them, Saddick Adams, put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute with a thunderbolt from the penalty spot after Amos Frimpong had fouled Amos Addai in the box.
The Kotoko fans booed Saddick Adams with his every touch of the ball, but the striker failed to celebrate his goal and instead blocked his ears with his palms though he kissed the club’s badge at a point.
Yacouba Songne announced himself as Kotoko’s new poster boy by scoring all two goals of the Porcupines’ 2-0 win over Hearts of Oak in the first leg of a similar friendly encounter in Kumasi two weeks ago.
Former Kotoko player and now AshantiGold’s defender, Osei Agyeman, bragged he would stop the Burkinabe import on the day, but Yacouba gave him a bit of his venom when he curled a free kick, from 20 yards out, over the human wall and into the top corner of the left side of the post to draw parity.
Emmanuel Agyeman Badu released Wahab Adams, in the 18-year box, in the 52nd minute as he was put under pressure by Ouatarra Salia. Wahab failed to control the ball, allowing Eric Donkor to intercept and bury it at the bottom corner of the left side of the post with a right footed shot.
The goal was, for the second time running, was scored by a Kotoko former player and deputy captain, and the though Eric Donkor did not celebrate, the pain in it for the Kotoko stands was obvious.
Yacouba Songne brought back the smiles on the faces of the Kotoko faithfuls just four minutes later with a perfect header, at the blind side of Richard Osei Agyeman, to a perfect inswinger from Stephen Nyarko.
Kotoko Lineup: Felix Annan, Augustine Sefah, Amos Frimpong, Wahab Adams, Emmanuel Agyeman Badu, Richard Senanu, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Stephen Nyarko/Douglas Owusu Ansah, Obed Owusu/Frederick Boateng, Songne Yacouba, Kwame Boahene/Michael Yeboah
Unused bench: Emmanuel Osei Kwame, Emmanuel Owusu, Samuel Apiah Kubi
AshantiGold Lineup: Robert Dabuo, Emmanuel Nti, Roland Amouzou,Samed Ibrahim, Richard Osei Agyeman, Joseph Gordon, Amos Addai/Richard Djodi, Appiah MacCarthy, Ouatarra Salia, Saddick Adams/Shafiu Mumuni, Eric Donkor
Unused Bench: Daniel Gozer, Stephen Sowu, Ricky Adjei, Frank Boateng