Asante Kotoko head coach, Seydou Zerbo, who has overseen solely 4 games since taking over at the club, already appears to be feeling let down by the standard of his strikers.
The Porcupines received their first league game of the season of their midweek encounter with Nsoatremann – goals from Stephen Amankona and Isaac Oppong, noticed Kotoko bounce to ninth on the desk after two games.
The season’s maiden Super Clash noticed the country’s two largest golf equipment share the spoils after Hearts snatched a late equaliser via Caleb Amankwah. Kotoko, subsequently filed a criticism against referee, Selorm Yao Bless, for waving off what the club believes had been clear penalty calls.
However, there will have been no motive for a criticism had Steven Mukwala buried the chances introduced to him. Prior to that, regardless of numerous minutes of ascendency, Kotoko, within the first leg of the CAF Champions League qualifiers, solely managed a 1-0 away win to RC Kadiogo through a stoppage time goal from Isaac Oppong.
The story repeated itself one week after, because the Porcupines had been dumped into the Confederation Cup, and after yet one more wasteful efficiency, Zerbo can not appear to perceive.
“We’ve had many chances and been unable to score, we have worked on them. Unfortunately, these [misses] are individual mistakes not a team or collective. You can see it was individuals who had the chances and failed to score,” Zerbo said via his interpreter.
Kotoko is a club which has at all times boasted of housing among the brightest strikers the Ghana Premier League has seen. Defenders within the Premier League’s older days will not have fond reminiscences of Opoku Nti and Opoku Afriyie – names which have lived previous their answerers.
And defenders of the Premier League’s extra fashionable years, will not relish games versus Edwin Bekoe and Ahmed Toure – Kotoko, has been a club of huge goal-getters. However, following Toure’s exit after his second coming, it may be said the club experienced a brief drought of the standard bequest of it.
When Kotoko lost the 2020/21 title race to rivals, Hearts, it spark Porcupine ridicule, because the club thought they had been operating away with the title. Led by Kwame Poku, who made turning up for them nearly a prerequisite, Kotoko regarded the crew to beat.
However, halfway via the season, Poku departed the club to USM Algiers for a reported $400,000, in a transfer many described as unbeneficial to Kotoko. But apparently, the club wanted the money, so in time, he left, and it cued a run which noticed the club finally concede the title to Hearts with a game to spare.
Seven goals in 16 appearances was Poku’s record at the time of his departure, and he was main Kotoko’s and the league’s scoring charts.
Fast forward, a brand new season was ushered in with Hearts of Oak as defending champions, and Kotoko – wounded and envious, got here with renewed need for the Premier League title. And accompanying that need was a gunman many had been unaware of. But they finally bought properly accustomed with the name and celebration of Etouga Mbella, because the Cameroonian scored 21 of Kotoko’s 47 league goals.
Though unthinkable, if there’s ever a time it’s not possible to discover a method to describe his significance to the Porcupines, then this: 40% of his league goals being game winners, will just do effective.
But as soon as again, the North African plague hit the Porcupines and he was swooped away by Al Masry, leaving Kotoko with yet one more hole to fill.
There was intent to make sure the club doesn’t miss the services of Fabio Gama and Etouga Mbella. Serge Eric Zeze and Steven Mukwala had been the headline recruitments, and undoubtedly Mukwala shoulders extra expectations as in contrast to the Ivorian.
Replicating Mbella’s single season heroics is almost not possible, and it’s being confirmed. While cheers greeted nearly each effort of Mbella at goal, shrieks of disappointment currently greets that of Mukwala. He’s nonetheless barren this season and although the season continues to be younger, by lacking ‘easy’ scoring alternatives, he’s not made a goal-scoring case for himself.
It appears to be like gloomy with how he’s began the season, however 13 goals from the 2021/22 season of the Ugandan Premier League, provides recommendations of hope for fans and the club. But is there any of it?
Is there any hope?
In his Premier League games, the perfect a part of Mukwala’s game has been his capacity to deliver teammates into the game. His linkup play versus Nsoatremann was telling, because it was via that he received his largest probability of the game. But he let himself down with a disappointing end.
Mukwala picked up the ball in midfield, and after a half flip, one contact and a cross to Zeze, dashed into the house created by Nsoatremann’s ridiculously high defensive position. He was performed via for a one-on-one however by some means managed to miss.
The method was alright – opening himself up in an try to wrap his foot around the ball, and find the goalkeeper’s far post, nevertheless it failed.
He’s not solely managed to carve out chances for himself, however other players like Oppong have benefitted from his tidy linkup, with a vivid instance being his assist for Oppong’s goal versus Nsoatremann.
Mukwala has additionally proven glimpses of excellent motion with in-to-out runs from which he’s been discovered behind the defensive position of opposition groups up to now. He has been doing proper, some fundamental necessities of a striker and likewise showcased he has considerable ranges of understanding house.
Should he not lose confidence and proceed doing the fundamental issues proper, and with only a little bit of luck, Mukwala goes to be simply effective.