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Oly Beats Kotoko in giant step towards survival

Accra Great Olympics took a significant step towards surviving in the Ghana Premier League on Sunday, securing a crucial away win over Asante Kotoko at the Dr. Kwame Kyei Sports Complex during a match week 32 encounter.

Raymond Okoh Grippman scored the only goal of the match, keeping the survival aspirations of the Accra-based club alive. With a game in hand and an upcoming match against their city rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak, who are also entangled in the relegation battle, Oly appears to have taken their destiny into their own hands with this famous win.

The game was fairly balanced in the opening 10 minutes, with both teams making incursions into each other’s territory but failing to create clear-cut chances. The first decent chance came Kotoko’s way in the 13th minute when Peter Amidu Acquah was released on the right after receiving a long ball from midfield. However, his feeble effort could not beat goalkeeper Benjamin Asare.

Kotoko won a penalty two minutes later when Kekeli Attor fouled Steve Dese Mukwala in the box. Referee George Mawuli Vormawor did not hesitate to point to the spot. The Ugandan, however, squandered the opportunity to put his side ahead, sending the ball into the waiting arms of Asare.

After being let off the hook, the visitors launched a swift attack, but their final delivery in the box was poor, throwing away a chance that was easier to score than to miss. The two teams continued to probe for the opener, battling for supremacy in the midfield where most of the attacks were orchestrated.

With two minutes to the break, Grippman broke the deadlock for Olympics, out-jumping the Kotoko defense to nod home a free kick. The goal separated the two teams as they headed into the dressing room to prepare for the second half.

Knowing how crucial their lead was for their survival in the league, Olympics came into the second half fully determined to protect the goal. They were resolute in defense and dangerous upfield anytime they threatened their host.

Sixteen minutes into the half, Coach Prosper Nartey Ogum introduced Kalou Ouatara and Bernard Somuah for Serge Eric Zeze and Fuseini Issahak, pushing for the equalizer. The substitutions began to yield results as the Porcupines turned up the heat on the “Dade Boys,” who adopted a strategy of sitting back and catching their opponents on the break. The approach appeared to work as Kotoko started committing mistakes in their desperate attempt to equalize.

As the Porcupines raced against time to salvage a point, the visitors slowed down the tempo with intermittent claims of injury, disrupting the flow of play to their advantage. With a lifeline of six additional minutes, Kotoko threw more men upfront aiming for an injury-time equalizer, but Oly held on to secure a crucial win, keeping their survival hopes alive.

This victory propels Accra Great Olympics into a stronger position in their fight against relegation, providing them with much-needed momentum as they face their remaining fixtures.

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