GPL relegation battle: Oly takes giant step towards survival

Accra Great Olympics took a giant step towards surviving in the Ghana Premier League on Sunday after securing a crucial away win over Asante Kotoko at the Dr. Kwame Kyei Sports Complex in a match week 32 encounter.

Raymond Okoh Grippman scored the only goal of the match to keep the survival aspirations of the Accra based club alive.

With a game in hand and a date with their city rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak who are also entangled in the relegation conundrum, Oly appears to have taken their destiny into their own hands with the famous win.

It was a fairly balanced game in the opening 10 minutes which saw both teams making incursions into each other’s territory but failed to create clear-cut chances.

The first decent chance came the way of Kotoko on the 13th minute when Peter Amidu Acquah was released on the right after receiving a long ball from midfield, but his feeble effort could not beat goalkeeper Benjamin Asare.

The Porcupines would win a penalty two minutes later when Kekeli Attor fouled Steve Dese
Mukwala in the box right in front of referee George Mawuli Vormawor who did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.

The Ugandan, however, blew away the opportunity to put his side ahead when he sent the ball into the waiting arms of Asare.

After being let off the hook, the visitors launched a swift attack, but their final delivery in the box left much to be desired as they threw away a chance which was easier to score than to miss.

The two teams continued to probe for the opener as they battled for supremacy in the midfield where most of the attacks were orchestrated.

With two minutes to the break, Grippman broke the deadlock for Olympics when he out-jumped the Kotoko defence to nod home a free kick.

The goal separated the two teams as they headed into the dressing room to prepare for the second half.

Knowing how crucial their lead meant for their survival in the league, Olympics came into the second half fully determined to protect the goal.

They were resolute in defence and dangerous up field anytime t
hey threatened their host.

16 minutes into the half, Coach Prosper Nartey Ogum introduced Kalou Ouatara and Bernard Somuah for Serge Eric Zeze and Fuseini Issahak as he pushed for the equaliser.

As expected, the substitution started yielding results as the Porcupines turned the heat on the ‘Dade Boys’ who adopted the strategy of sitting back and catching their opponents on the break.

The approach appeared to work for them when Kotoko started committing mistakes in their desperate attempt to pull parity.

As the Porcupines raced against time to salvage a point, the visitors slowed down the tempo with intermittent claims of injury which disrupted the of play to their advantage.

With a lifeline of six additional minutes, Kotoko threw more men upfront with the aim of snatching an injury time equaliser, but Oly held on to secure a crucial win to keep their survival hopes alive.

Source: Ghana News Agency