Supporters of Kumasi Asante Kotoko were at the height of hooliganism as the defending champions fell 1-2 in their fifth Glo Premier League duel against debutants, Sporting Mirren at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra on Sunday.
The ‘Fabulous’ fans were protesting against a disallowed goal late in the game in which the host dominated and invaded the pitch after breaking down one of the inner perimeter gates, heckled and pitted the match officials with missiles and went ahead to attack the handful of security personnel detailed in arena as they chanted war songs.
Holding up play for almost half an hour, the supporters attacked everything in sight except their own players and succeeded in putting fear in many of the security in a manner that saw the policemen running for cover and occasionally staging a “calm down” plea to the angry fans.
A few times that the Police managed to get hold of some of the fans, their colleague supporters joined their friends to overpower the over 20 personnel whose importance was only reduced to clearing the filth that had been visited the field after the turmoil by the irate fans.
Kotoko appeared the weaker opponent from the start of the game despite taking the lead through a Mirren’s Richard Sasu’s own goal after the host dealt poorly with the visitors’ invasion.
The game had started on a balanced note with spilt opportunities but it was Kotoko who enjoyed a brief early dominance that brought Louis Agyemang and Alex Asamoah close to scoring.
It was however Mirren who benefited from the 50-50 situations and stayed glued to the wings of exceptional skipper Frank Boateng who drew rings around the Kotoko midfield and glittered as he moved up field.
A goal beckoned with every Mirren move and when hard pressed Kotoko’s Godfred Yeboah fouled Mahatma Otoo just in front of the edge of the Kotoko penalty area, the visitors’ frustration had become telling.
Samuel Solomon took the responsibility of pulling Mirren even nine minutes with a beautiful kick that zoomed straight into goal after the half hour mark from the dead ball situation.
Kotoko resumed the second half stronger and Asamoah should have put the team in the lead again but the bulky striker amazingly missed from a close range leaving Mirren off the hook.
After surviving the scare, Mirren took off and Otoo succeeded where Asamoah failed earlier with a free header that rolled beneath Kotoko’s goalkeeper Eric Nii Baah two minutes from recess to send the vociferous supporters dead silent.
Mirren held their own and with the clock ticking to a close, Kotoko mounted a search for an equalizer which appeared to have arrived three minutes from time when Stephen Oduro’s shot from Asamoah’s set up that went into the net was ruled offside to spark the throwing of missiles unto the pitch until some officials managed to virtually beg the supporters to allow the game to continue to its end with Mirren chalking their first win in the League.