Ghana Premier League leaders Asnate Kotoko could not make it five out five after failing to defeat Karela United at the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park on Sunday.
The Porcupine Warriors were held to a goalless stalemate by the “Pride and Passion” lads in throughly entertaining encounter in Anyinase.
Asante Kotoko had to without the services of injured duo, Richmond Lamptey and Christopher Nettey, forcing head coach Prosper Narteh Ogum to make two changes to the side that triumphed over Eleven Wonders last weekend.
Razak Abalora kept his place in the sticks but Samuel Appiah came in for Nettey while Imoro Ibrahim, Andrews Kwadwo Appau and Abdul Ganiu Ismail completed the back four.
Richard Boadu ‘Agadas’ patterned Mudasiru Salifu and Isaac Oppong in midfield while Fabio Gama, George Mfegue and Samuel Boateng led the attack.
Kotoko were the better side during the early exchanges as winger Isaac Oppong and forward Samuel Boateng combined well in the seventh minute only for latter to be flagged offside.
Ten minutes later, Oppong had another shot at goal but his effort was very feeble and was saved by the Karela. goalkeeper.
Karela United overcame the early scare and in the 22nd minute, they came close to opening the scoring through former Kotoko midfielder Umar Bashiru who saw his effort beat goalkeeper Abalora only to hit the upright.
Midfiekder Richard Boadu brought down Umar when the midfielder broke for a quick counterattack and the referee didn’t hesitate to show him a yellow card.
After the break, Kotoko pressed harder in search of the first goal.
Imoro Ibrahim saw his cross nearly causing an own goal in the 56th minute as a Karela player struggled to deal with it.
Howver, One minute later, Kotoko were reduced to ten men after Richard Boadu fouled a Karela player to pick his second booking of the day.
The sending off forced Kotoko to make a substitution as Sherrif Mohammed came in for Samuel Boateng while Emmanuel Keyekey also replaced Fabio Gama as Kotoko reverted to a 4-3-2 formation due to the numerical disadvantage.
Karela United had a glorious chance to seal the game in the 85th minute but Kotoko goalkeeper Razak Abalora made a point blank save to prevent his side from conceding, picking up an injury in the process.
The visitors held on despite a late barrage of attacks from Karela, to walk home with a point.
Despite the stalemate, Asante Kotoko still lead the log with 13 points ahead of their derby with King Faisal in Kumasi next week at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.