Posted by: westafricanfootball | 18/01/2011

BEREKUM CHELSEA 1-0 ASANTE KOTOKO FC

On last Sunday, league leaders Berekum Chelsea secured their lead in the GLO Premier League by beating Asante Kotoko FC 1-0. Emmanuel Clottey, the Ghana national team striker, scored the only goal of the game, combining beautifully with captain Mohammed Abdul Basit during the first half.

It was a deserved victory for Chelsea as Kotoko struggled to create chances.

Ernest Sowah (born 31.03.1988) is the first choice goalkeeper of Chelsea and he seemed confident the very few times he was in action. Sowah, a former member of Tema Youth FC, was regarded as one of the most promising goalkeepers in Ghana in 2007 and 2008.

The defence of Chelsea seemed very strong and to me it is somewhat surprising that the central defensive pair of Edward Kpodo (born 14.01.1990) and Paul Aidoo has been working out so well. Both players are rather unknown players in Ghanaian football. Kpodo, also a former player of Tema Youth FC is arguably the most highly regarded of the two and he made an impressive performance. Although not the tallest, he proved to be a tough central defender but also showed that he is a skillful player, able to bring the ball forward. Kpodo has actually been ever-present this season. Aidoo, most likely born in 1988, played for Hasaacas FC in 2007-2008 before joining Chelsea. He did not put his foot wrong during the match, impressing with strong tackles and aerial power. Eric Agyemang (born 01.05.1989) is usually a regular right-back but played at left-back against Kotoko, most likely due to the suspension of the brilliant Alfred Arthur. Agyemang, a former King Faisal-player was happy to join the attack but I assume he has had better matches than this. Agyemang was replaced by the experienced Richard Afari (born 03.07.1980) a few minutes from time. Afari is a versatile defender. At right-back, it was nice to see Samuel Kyere (born 06.08.1992) back in action. Kyere was apparently on the radar of Spanish powerhouse Atletico Madrid in 2009 and has been a member of Ghana U-20 during 2009 and 2010. Kyere played a good match and was in full control of Alidu Harif Mohammed during the first half. He seemed to focus on his defensive duties.

I think the two unsung heroes of Chelsea, Jackson Owusu (born 15.10.1988) and Yaw Alexander (born 06.01.1987) have a lot to do with the current success of Chelsea. Both players are extremely hard working, disciplined midfielders who creates space for their more creative teammates. Owusu is the longest-serving player at Chelsea while Alexander is a former star player of Brong Ahafo United FC and Tema Youth FC. He was part of Ghana U-23 back in 2006. The captain of Chelsea is playmaker Mohammed Abdul Basit (born 19.01.1986), formerly of Great Olympics and Heart of Lions FC. I am pretty sure that in-form Basit, who will be playing for Ghana in the upcoming CHAN-tournament, has played better games than this, but he showed some flashes of brilliance and provided the assist when Clottey scored the only goal of the match. It was easy to see that Basit is very confident with the ball and very accurate with his passes. He always seemed to be looking for ways to play through Clottey, Bismark Idan or Obed Owusu. Obed Owusu (born 16.04.1985) and Bismark Idan (born 10.08.1989) started the match at left-wing and right-wing respectively, but changed sides during the match, which seemed to confuse the Kotoko-defenders. Owusu, who was top goalscorer for Gamba All Blacks FC before joining Chelsea in 2009-2010, is a hard-working winger who never seems to stop running. He was eventually substituted for the long-serving midfielder Awudu Moro (born 01.05.1982).

To me, Bismark Idan was one of the stars of the game. He is strong like a bull and turned out to be quite a handful for the Kotoko-defenders. Idan is presented in my post from 17.11.2010. However, the man of the match was arguably the match-winning striker Emmanuel Clottey (born 30.08.1987). Clottey, who has had unsuccessful stints in Austria and Denmark, showed what a sharp-shooting striker he is and scored his eight goal of the season. Clottey is very quick and mobile. Clottey was replaced by Emmanuel Osei Banahene (born 16.08.1988) late in the second half. Banahene is very much alike Clottey and that is probably why they rarely seem to be playing together.

The experienced goalkeeper Isaac Amoako (born 20.08.1983) was Kotoko’s captain of the day. He did not impress and seemed shaky at several occasions. Especially his timing at crosses and corners was not good at all. Amoako is nevertheless one of Ghana’s finest goalkeepers and he will be heading to the CHAN-tournament as one of three goalkeepers. Prince Anokye (born 08.08.1987) is another experienced member of the team and a very reliable left-back. Although he struggled with Idan at times, he seemed confident as always. The right-back was petit Yaw Frimpong (born 04.12.1986) who seems to have made the position his own after joining Kotoko from ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast earlier this month. Frimpong is a very attacking-minded full-back but he struggled to pin-point his crosses to Nathaniel Asamoah or Iddrisu Nafiu. His former teammate at ASEC, giant centre back Awal Mohammed (born 01.05.1988) was arguably the best Kotoko-player of the evening. He had quite a few tough duels with Idan and Clottey but was mostly rock-solid and was surprisingly fast for such a big man. A great signing by Kotoko. His partner in central defence was the former Berekum Arsenal-star Henry Ohene Brenya (born 04.05.1985). He did not seem to be at his best form and I suppose he will fight hard for time on the field when John Kuffour is back in top form.

One of the reasons why Kotoko lost was their poor performance in midfield. Frank Boateng (born 17.08.1984), interestingly a teacher by profession, played for Chelsea on loan in the first part of 2010-2011, and one should think he knew his opponents but the usually reliable midfielder was totally overshadowed by Jackson Owusu and Yaw Alexander. It was unfortunately Boateng that lost the ball when Basit and Clottey combined and scored the only goal of the match. The lanky Boateng was substituted at half-time and was replaced by Iddrisu Nafiu (born 12.06.1986), a burly striker who has played for the Feyenoord Academy, ASEC Mimosas, and Al-Dhafra and Al-Sharjah, both from the United Arab Emirates. Nafiu seemed a bit unfit and did not impress in my opinion. Michael Akuffo (born 18.12.1985) played at the left-side of the central midfield during the first half and impressed with his hard-work although his deliveries mostly were poor. Akuffo is also a new signing, formerly of the Feyenoord Academy, ASEC Mimosas and Finnish side FC PoPa. Afranie Yeboah (born 05.05.1988) played at the right-side of the central midfield and he also a hard-working player with some tough tackles, sometimes too tough in my opinion. Not very skillful but seems to be a favorite of new coach Bogdan Koran. Yeboah was replaced by Albert Bruce (born 30.12.1992) and I personally think this stabilized the midfield. Kotoko simply seemed like a better side when Bruce took charge of the midfield with his strong running and accurate passes. A very talented player, formerly of Berekum Arsenal. Kotoko apparently played some kind of 4-3-2-1 formation in the first half and Daniel Nii Adjei (born 29.09.1988) was placed at the right-wing. He is such a brilliant midfielder but seemed uncomfortable at the wing and had a more central role in the second half. He is known for his hard shots from distance but never got to show this force. At left-wing Kotoko started with Harif Alidu Mohammed (born 14.10.1994). The youngster, presented in my post from 11.10.2010, was unfortunately rather invisible and was substituted at half-time for Reagan Obeng. Obeng, a former player of the Feyenoord Academy, tried hard to make his mark but his passes was off target almost every time. He wandered the pitch and was mostly seen at the right side of the midfield. The lone striker for Kotoko was Nathaniel Asamoah (born 22.02.1990), presented in my post from 22.10.2010. Asamoah is arguably the hottest striker in Ghana at the time and has scored three goals since joining Kotoko from Wa All Stars FC earlier this month. He struggled hard to shake off Kpodo and Aidoo and had a very quiet game, unleashing almost no shots at goal. It did not seem to help that he got support from Nafiu in the second half but I guess these two players could very well form a strong partnership as time goes by. Asamoah is a very mobile, quick striker while Nafiu is more of a target man.

Akuffo, Asamoah, Awal, Frimpong and Nafiu are all presented in my post from 19.12.2010.


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