Match Report: Hearts hold champions Kotoko to thrilling draw in Kumasi

Hearts of Oak held Asante Kotoko to a goalless draw in a highly thrilling penultimate game of the season which has already seen the Porcupine Warriors retain their Premier League crown.

Kotoko were officially crowned champions for the third consecutive time before their home fans at the Baba Yara Stadium having been given a real match by their arhc rivals on Sunday.

Hearts were however the quickest out of the block in the opening embers of the game, bossing possession to taunt the home fans.

They almost took an early hit against the run of play but for a poor finish of the volley by Kotoko striker Abdul Aziz Yusif.

The Phobians responded in equal measure with the skilful Ashittey Ollenu dancing through the Kotoko defence and cutting the ball back but Selasie Adjei couldn’t apply the needed finish as the ball came off his knee to a swinging kick.

The rains came down towards the end of the first half but that will do little to deter both sides from giving their all to give a clear representation of a Super Two clash.

The Phobians however lost influential defender Rubin Gnagne to injury with his replacement Philip Boampong also bowing out subsequently with an injury.

The game had clearly opened up in the second half with Kotoko shading the possession and committing a lot of men forward.

Hearts had coiled into their defensive shell, clearly using the counter attacking tactic.

It almost paid off as a swift surge from a defending position got the desired result.

Kotoko goalkeeper Joseph Addo had raced out about 20 yards to clear a ball in the oath of Selasie Adjie. Both players clashed with the ball falling fortuitously to Emmanuel Hayford.

But his goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by defender Abeiku Ainooson.

Kotoko’s response was to lay siege at the Hearts goal-area, huffed and puffed but to no avail.

The Porcupine Warriors almost fetched the winner five minutes from time with Hearts struggling to clear convincingly a corner kick.

The Phobians someway however managed to get the ball clear to ensure they came away with a share of the spoils from Kumasi.

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