Ghana Premier League: Issahaku dazzles but Oppong rules as Asante Kotoko register dramatic win over Dreams

Asante Kotoko opened their 2021-22 Ghana Premier League campaign in good fashion by a 3-1 away victory over Dreams on Saturday.

Liverpool and Sporting Club-linked Abdul Fatawu Issahaku netted first for the hosts but replies from Salifu Mudasiru, Isaac Oppong and Richmond Lamptey sealed victory for the Porcupine Warriors at the Accra Sports Stadium.

After just the second match of the campaign following Elmina Sharks and Accra Lions’ 1-1 draw season opener on Friday, the Kumasi-based outfit have, by the score margin, taken an early lead on the standings.

The look of the table might, however, change when 14 more teams, including Hearts of Oak, take their turn of matchday one action on Sunday.

Seventeen-year-old Issahaku, who made his senior Ghana debut earlier this month, was the major highlight of Dreams’ starting XI, having sealed a loan transfer from second tier fold Steadfast earlier this week.

Brazilian attacker Fabio Gama, who has emerged as the most attractive player in the Ghanaian topflight, headlined the Porcupine Warriors XI which also featured Ghana international centre-back Ismail Abdul Ganiyu.

It was indeed sensational stuff on the day as Dreams, who hosted the game at the Accra Sports Stadium due to temporary suspension of their Dawu-based home ground for not meeting licensing requirements, led until the final four minutes of regular time when their machinery broke down dramatically.

After a barren first half, Issahaku broke the deadlock four minutes after the hour mark when he intercepted a loose ball outside the box, weaved his way past four men as he drove into the box and slotted a shot past goalkeeper Razak Abalora.

Still Believe held their own for a seeming big victory until the 86th minute when they saw their defence cut open by an Oppong through ball which Mudasiru latched onto to shoot through the legs of goalkeeper Solomon Abasi.

Two minutes later, Oppong gave Kotoko the lead for the first time when he collected a cross from the left following a failed bicycle clearance by his Dreams marker and fired a shot into the net from just outside the 12-yard box.

In the second minute of injury time, new signing Lamptey completed the comeback with a trademark powerful shot from outside the box after receiving a pass from Oppong who was at the thick of affairs once again.

Kotoko will be looking to clinch their 24th league title this season.

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