Assam bowled out at 89 in Cooch Behar Trophy match

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: Assam bowled out paltry 89 runs in their first innings against Saurashtra in the Cooch Behar Trophy match at Bokakhat today. In reply to Saurashtra’s 1st innings total 176 Assam struggled from the very beginning and finally bowled out 89 runs in 29.4 overs. Nibir Das (23) was the top scorer. Among the bowlers of Saurasthra Dev Dand picked up 5-31. Earlier Saurashtra bowled out 176 in their first innings. HS kotak (49) was the top scorer for the visitors while Rituraj Biswas collected three wickets giving away 32 runs.Also Read: Assam’s Ashmita Chaliha clinches gold at 13th South Asian Games Women’s Badminton FinalAlso Watch: Watch | AASU along with 30 indigenous organisations staging protest against CAB in Naharkatialast_img

ANALYSIS: How David Duncan outsmarted Hearts of Oak

first_imgOn Sunday, Kotoko played one of their most tactically disciplined games the team has witnessed all season as they triumphed over Hearts in Accra. A brace from Dauda Mohammed sealed all three points for the Porcupine Warriors.Hearts’ shapeEddie Ansah decided to maintain consistency as he went with virtually the same side and shape that lost to New Edubiase last week. The key changes were in goal as Tetteh Luggard replaced Seidu Mutawakilu and the skillful Isaac Mensah replacing Thomas Abbey. This change meant Ansah was opting for more creativity in his team as opposed to hardwork. Sarbah Laryea and Emmanuel Hayford continued their pairing in the middle of the field while Foovi Aguidi and Kenneth Okoro played on top.Kotoko shape David Duncan’s starting lineup (pictured below) was more straightforward.In the absence of Ahmed Toure, Obed Owusu led the line with Dauda Mohammed playing behind him in a 4-4-1-1 while Michael Akuffo played ahead of Kwadwo Poku in the centre of the field. The backline remained intact from last week with Abeiku Ainooson and Ahmed Adams continuing their partnership in the heart of defence.Match summaryThe game started at a ferocious pace with some end to end action in the first 20 minutes, After Dauda Mohammed’s first goal, Kotoko sat deeper and caught Hearts on the break several times. The Porcupines should have killed off the game in the first half or the earlier parts of the second half before Hearts’ equalizer. But it became more chaotic after the equalizer and a poor clearance by Robin Gnagne ensured Dauda Mohammed and Kotoko carried all three points on the day. Kotoko tacticsDavid Duncan drilled his side very well on the day and had their 4-4-1-1 shape spot on. While defending, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi and Eric Donkor who played on the flanks for Kotoko dropped deep to join the Kotoko midfield ensuring Hearts had to break down Kotoko’s two lines of four. This move prevented Hearts wide men Eric Kumi and Isaac Mensah also had two men to beat which neutralized their strength on the day. Dauda Mohammed dropped deep into midfield as he served as the outlet for the Kotoko break. This system is reminiscent of Diego Simeone’s 4-4-1-1 which he has used in his spell at Atletico Madrid. Hearts struggle to penetrateKotoko’s shape meant Hearts had major difficulty in trying to penetrate the Kotoko defence. The Phobians had a lot of bodies infront of them as they struggled to break down a well drilled unit. Emmanuel Hayford suffered the most as a result of this as the Hearts front line had little or no movement to make forcing Hayford to hit long diagonals and hopeful balls.  Hearts did not create any clear chance of note especially after the equalizer as they were restricted to long range shots. It came as no surprise their goal as a result of a set piece.Kotoko transitionKotoko’s transition from defence to attack was exceptional on the day. The Porcupines varied short passes with quick over the top balls as they hit the Phobians time and again. Kotoko always broke out in numbers. Obed Owusu’s speed was useful at the top as he alongside Dauda Mohammed were the outlets anytime Kotoko broke forward. Michael Akuffo in his deep lying playmaker role sprayed some lovely passes over the high line of the Hearts defence. Poor decision making cost the team in the attacking third of the field.Hearts defence Hearts defence played so high up the pitch throughout the game and should have been punished for it. The Phobians were exposed several times as a result of this high line with Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, Obed Owusu and Jackson Owusu exploiting the back line on many instances.  Musah Inusah’s relatively lack of speed as compared to the Kotoko backline was exposed as he consistently failed to catch his markers when Kotoko were on the break.SubsBoth coaches exhausted all their three subs but none of these subs altered their shape. Hearts brought on Yamoah to replace Hayford in the centre of the park while Fiamenyo was brought on to partner Aguidi on top with Paul Acquah replacing Isaac Mensah on the wing. For Kotoko, Richard Oti was brought on for Atta Kusi which meant Amos Frimpong moved to right back with Donkor moving to left back and Oti playing on the wing.Akwasi Acheampong was also brought on to replace Abeiku Ainooson in a like for like change in the heart of defence. Kwadwo Poku was brought on to replace Obed Owusu but that was a purely time wasting substitution.ConclusionDavid Duncan’s tactical decisions were spot on in the game as Kotoko was solid in defence and fluid in attack. They managed to limit the influence of Hayford, Mensah and Kumi which proved to be the major difference on the day. Kotoko are deserved winners and should have won by more if not for awful finishing.–CLICK TO READ: Match report – Hearts 1-2 KotokoCLICK TO READ: Eddie Ansah bullish about Hearts survival chances–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img read more