Match Report: Kotoko-Hearts Super Clash Ends in Stalemate
It was yet another intriguing encounter between the two most glamorous clubs in Ghana, as Kumasi Asante Kotoko took on archrivals Accra Hearts of Oak at the Kumasi Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday.
As Kotoko sought to crown their league title clinch with a victory over their sworn rivals, Hearts of Oak on the other hand, were eager to cause an upset at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium to blight the party for the Porcupine Warriors.
The much anticipated game, which saw some pretty good football especially in the first half, ended in a dead heat as both teams failed to record a goal at the end of 90 minutes.
It was Asante Kotoko who started on a bright note, controlling affairs at the early stages of the game as they stringed their passes together in the first 20 minutes. But the Phobians gradually warmed themselves into the game as they came up with some few decent chances.
Asante Kotoko were denied what seemed to be a clear penalty in the 28th minute after an Issah Yakubu was struck by the arm of Hearts of Oak defender Kwaku Andoh in the penalty box. Meanwhile, the Phobians were also denied a clear penalty in the 45th minute when Ollenu Ashitey, who had been a thorn in the flesh of the Kotoko defense, was fouled by Ben Adama in the 18-yard box.
The match, which seemed to be a fifty-fifty game, however saw Hearts of Oak coach Mohammed Polo making a forced substitution in the dying embers of the first half as Robin Gnagne, who had been a pillar it the Phobian defense, picked up a head injury and had to be taken off for Phillip Boampong. Asante Kotoko were slightly ahead of Hearts of Oak at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Back from recess, the Phobians however took the game to the home team, as they dominated possession in the second half. Emmanuel Hayford could have registered the first goal after he capitalized on a mistake by Joseph Addo, who was in post for Kotoko. But his shot was timely blocked on the line by Kotoko defender Abeiku Ainooson to keep the Kumapem lads in the game.
Kotoko’s Michael Akuffo’s thunderous free kick half way in the second half was punched away by Hearts of Oak goalkeeper Tetteh Lugard. Kotoko failed to get the ball in the back of the net when Isaac Boakye’s header was saved on the line by Tetteh Lugard, with Seidu Bancey also failing to connect the rebound in the 83rd minute.
The two teams had to settle for a draw after ninety plus five (90′+5′) minutes of additional time.
Meanwhile, the Porcupine Warriors received the giant trophy after the game for emerging as the 2013/2014 First Capital Plus Bank Premier League Champions.
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