Isaac Oppong’s brilliance and four things we learned from Kotoko’s comeback win

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Isaac Oppong
Isaac Oppong

Despite spending 15 minutes on the field of play, Isaac Oppong was the main orchestrator of Asante Kotoko’s comeback win against the Dreams FC at the Accra Sports Stadium last Saturday.

Popularly referred to as Sunyani “Neymar”, Oppong scored his debut goal for the Porcupine Warriors having made two assists in a high-octane four-goal thriller in the 2021/22 Ghana Premier League opening week.

Oppong proved a tricky customer for the Dreams defence as he exhibited some exquisite touches and looks a promising prospect for the Porcupine Warriors.

This is what Kotoko’s gaffer Dr. Prosper Nartey Ogum said about his attacking gem: “He came in with a lot of individual brilliance especially his ability to create spaces and when to deliver the right passes.

“I think he has a bright future and technically he is a gifted player but we need to work on his strength and defensive abilities.”

Here are the four things we learned from Kotoko’s win:
Formation
Head coach Dr. Prosper Nartey seems to have adopted the 4-1-4-1 to allow his possession with purpose in the style of play thus moving the ball from defence to midfield to attack with almost every player touching the ball.

Salifu Mudasiru who scored the equalizer for the Porcupine Warrior was a vital player for them and the player who on most occasions initiated the attacks sitting right in front of the back four which includes Captain Abdul Ismail, Yussif Mubarik, Patrick Asmah, and Christopher Nettey.

The four attacking players of Asante Kotoko including Richmond Lamptey, Stephen Amankona, Joseph Amoako, and Fabio Gama are the creative force of the team and were very productive on the day.

Samuel Boateng who was the lone striker upfront had a productive debut for the Porcupine Warriors and looks a very good attacking prospect.

Creativity
Kotoko has so much creativity in the attacking third and could have scored more than four goals if not for the brilliance of Dreams goalkeeper Solomon Agbesi who made four staggering saves.

Kotoko’s talisman Fabio Gama seems to have enjoyed the new strategy deployed by the head coach as he is very confident on the ball, displaying some sleekness in his final passes.

Richmond Lamptey who scored his debut goal for his new club seems to understand the philosophy of Head Coach Prosper Nartey and this may be because of his playing days at West Africa Football Academy, the former team of the coach.

Kotoko’s solid bench
Kotoko’s bench was very solid on the match-day with Ibrahim Moro and Emmanuel Keyekeh who were very integral players for Kotoko last season playing no part in yesterday’s victory.

Dickson Afoakwa, Richard Boadu, and Isaac Oppong who came in the second half played a crucial role in the comeback.

Fitness level
Kotoko’s fitness level on the day was very startling and seemed they could have played another hour of football despite Referee Selorm Yao Bless blowing the whistle for the end of proceedings.

Perhaps, Kotoko pre-season tour in Dubai, UAE has helped in the rejuvenation of the fitness of the squad who are relatively young in comparison with last season’s squad.

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