Today’s draw against Great Olympics marks Mariano Barreto’s third straight game without a defeat since taking over the managerial role from Johnson Smith late last month.
The Portuguese had already dumped Bechem United and Berekum Chelsea in ease manner along the line but was stretch by Great Olympics today.
Although all two games came at home of Kotoko at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium, Barreto faced a first ever away game against tough Great Olympics in top table clash at Accra.
With the game surfacing too important for both side, Kotoko who especially prepared very well for this game named a consistent side with only two changes made from his last lineup. Barreto couldn’t overlooked the vacuum created by the absence of Fabio Gama in play-making role as the Brazilian missed Olympics due to suspension.
Barreto named rerunning Emmanuel Sarkodie to replace the Gama but the former failed to drive Kotoko comparative to what the South American has heavily done in previous Ghana Premier League fixtures.
Gama has involved in four goals in last Kotoko’s three games scoring twice and assisting same as Brazilian’s absence led to huge negative impact on Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The Reds failed to control the game in the first half with Olympics looking the brighter side that is due to Annor Walker naming stars Benjamine Asare in posts, Philip Sackey, Eric Bonsu, Hamza Zakari, James Akaminko, Michel Otou, Samuel Ashie Quaye and Gladson Awako, in no other than the presence of Otuo, Akaminko, Ashie Quaye and Awako in particular appearing a distraction for Kotoko while Gama was not on the pitch.
Despite Olympics dominating possession in the first half, Kotoko looked relaxed and matured side, timing in between the lines to catch the home side on the counter-attack.
Lack of maturity and precision up front was the factors for Olympics’ scoreless run in the first half while Kotoko was a bit of strategic as the first 45’ minutes ended goalless draw.
The half’s results was a worry for Barreto who has already talked about how he has planned to make Asante Kotoko a free scoring side and that has reflected in his last two games scoring 6 goals without conceding and seeing his side keeping a clean sheet in the first half seemed a thing the Portuguese International was happy with.
Perhaps, I’m not familiar with the level kind of pep talks Barreto gave in the dressing room after the break but I strongly believe there was urging for Porcupine Warriors to win the game and Walker could potentially did the same.
With this tuner, who break the deadlock become a big question ahead of the second half. After restart, the pattern of the game never changed as Olympics contain the ball in midfield while Kotoko look to prey on counters.
Kotoko largely burst in the scene midway when Godred Asiamah who combined beautifully with Fabio Gama to burry Berekum Chelsea in Obuasi, Latif Anabila and Michael Vinicuis have entered the frame.
The three changes turned Kotoko into the dominant force but have time and Olympics defense to beat to record their third straight win. Michael Vinicius became the focal point in all Kotoko attacks but Olympics defense line dealt with all intended balls to the Brazilian.
Michael nets in his debut game but was held by Berekum Chelsea the last time and today by Olympics as the game ended 0-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium.