Kumasi Asante Kotoko were held to a pulsating 1-1 draw by visiting Karela United in their match day 22 clash at the Baba Yara Stadium on Thursday night.
The Porcupine Warriors had to fight back from a goal down to secure a crucial point after their skipper, Abdul Ganiyu was sent off for fouling a Karela attacker as the last defender .
Kotoko made early incursions into the half of the visitors with Richard Boadu pulling the trigger from 30 yards in the second minute but the ball flew miles above the woodwork.
The Porcupines continued to dominate by keeping the ball and forcing Karela to defend in their own half for the first 10 minutes.
They nearly found the back of the net on the 12th minute when a defender of Karela gifted Frank Etouga Mbella the ball in the vital area but the prolific striker’s effort was saved by Felix Kyei, the goalkeeper of Karela.
Kotoko’s dominance was neutralised when their skipper, Abdul Ganiyu was sent off for bridging down a Karela attacker who was in a goal-scoring position on the 27thminute.
Karela took control of the game following their numerical advantage by pressing Kotoko in their half until Kelvin Andoh scored the opener in the 35th minute.
The former Kotoko winger headed home a cross from the left side of attack to beat goalkeeper Kwame Baah who had left his line in an attempt to grab the ball mid-air.
Despite losing a player, Asante Kotoko kept their composure and managed to draw level on the stroke of half time.
It was a build-up from the left side of attack which saw Kotoko exchanging series of passes with Mbella connecting a cross from Imoro on the edge of the penalty box.
Kotoko resumed the second half the more determined side, creating two decent chances within three minutes but Samuel Boateng fluffed a glorious opportunity with only the goalkeeper to beat.
As Kotoko pushed for the second goal, the visitors strategically soaked the pressure and exploited the spaces left behind through counter attacks.
Samuel Boateng was pulled out on 70th minute for Justice Blay by coach Prosper Nartey Ogum who sought to bring some stability in the midfield which was under the control of Karela.
Both coaches introduced fresh limbs in the last 20 minutes with Kotoko pressing harder for the winner but Karela held on until the final whistle.