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GPL: Kotoko 2-1 Liberty; Porcupine Warriors Begin Season On High Note
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The Porcupine Warriors came from behind to win the day thanks to goals from new signing Yakubu Mohammed.

Asante Kotoko and Liberty Professionals got the 2017 Ghana Premier League season underway at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday after a five-month break.

Kotoko coach Zdravko Lugarusic handed Awudu Nafiu, Seth Opare, Prince Acquah, Kwame Boahene and Yakubu Mohammed their debut having joined the club during the transfer period.

However, the hosts suffered an injury blow after ten minutes when captain Amos Frimpong signalled to be substituted following a collision with an opponent, with Eric Donkor coming on as replacement.

Liberty also handed Simon Zibo and Papa Arko their first game with the club.

Kotoko were on top of proceedings in the early exchanges, with Opare and Emmanuel Gyamfi combining beautifully, but they couldn't find a breach to snatch the opener, as the visitors’ defence, marshalled by Samuel Sarfo, stood firm at the back.

Liberty found their footing after the half hour mark, with Gerald Akerson latching onto a pass from Arko and moving past Abieku Ainooson but his final effort went wide.

Three minutes later, Benjamin Eshun made amends and grabbed the opener for Liberty when he combined beautifully with Zibo. Donkor then forced a huge save from Liberty's goalkeeper Fatau Alhassan Dida, when he tipped off a powerful effort from the substitute.

After a rather pragmatic approach in the last 15 minutes of the first-half, Kotoko posed a more attacking threat to Liberty, with wingers Gyamfi and Donkor prominent on the flanks.

Back from the break, Kotoko scored two quick goals to become the controlling force.

Liberty's Issah Shaibu brought down Gyamfi in the box and referee Adaari Abdul Latif pointed to the spot. Yakubu Mohammed stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to snatch the equaliser on 57th minute.

The former Ashanti Gold striker hit a brace to give Kotoko the lead four minutes later after tapping in Ainooson's flick.

With ten minutes remaining, Arko combined with Bright Annan for a goal attempt which was thwarted by Kotoko backline.

Andoh tested the host's defence again following a great run, but Kotoko held on to their lead to claim three points from their matchday one campaign.

Kotoko will travel to Berekum Chelsea next weekend while Liberty play as hosts to city arrivals Inter Allies.
Source: Goal

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