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2024 President Cup: Coveted trophy heads to Cote d’Ivoire as ASEC beats Kotoko in Kumasi

Two first half goals were enough to aid ASEC Mimosas to lift the 2024 President Cup at the expense of Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

Despite playing in a packed stadium, Kotoko failed to glitter and succumbed to a 2:1 defeat to a dominant side with abundant quality.

In attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara who is in the country to join Ghana mark its 67th Independence Anniversary on Wednesday.

It was a dominant display by the Ivorians who hit the ground running, dominating the early exchanges as they kept Kotoko in their own half.

They played with so much confidence to the admiration of the fans, leaving Kotoko with the unpleasant duty of chasing the ball for most part of the first 15 minutes.

Their dominance paid off on the 16th when Alphonse Yao Kouame scored a spectacular goal to crown their near perfect start.

Kouame received the ball in the middle of the pitch, took a solo run towards the Kotoko goal area, before unleashing
a long drive beyond Frederick Asare from 30 yards.

The opener did not alter the pattern of play as the visitors continued to dictate the pace of the game despite Kotoko’s intermittent threats.

Arthur Bada doubled the lead for ASEC from the spot on the 27th minute after Justice Blay handled the ball during a goalmouth melee.

After conceding the second goal, Asante Kotoko lifted their performance in an attempt to reduce the deficit before the end of the first, but their efforts yielded little results as they went into the break two goals behind the Ivoirians.

Coach Prosper Nartey Ogum introduced Nicholas Mensah in place of Baba Yahaya just before the restart, but his inclusion did not make any significant difference as the Ivoirians continued to exert their authority over their hosts.

As the match progressed, Kotoko injected some urgency into their play as they raced against time to redeem themselves as the home team.

With their two goals advantage, ASEC Mimosas slowed the tempo of the game obviously to f
rustrate their opponents who were in desperate need for goals.

Their strategy worked for some time but the Porcupines managed to pull one back from the spot through Steve Dese Mukwala.

The Ugandan import made a blistering run from the left into the box and was on the verge unleashing a shot when a defender brought him down.

With a chance of pulling parity in sight, Kotoko raided the visitor’s goal area in the last five minutes with incessant attacks, but it was to late for them to come to the party as the visitors stood firm to repel all the threats.

Source: Ghana News Agency