Accra Hearts of Oak triumphed over their arch-rivals Asante Kotoko after posting a narrow 1-0 win over them at their favourite Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi in the Ghana Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Kotoko were unable to crawl back from a Selasi Adjei 7th minute tuck-in from close range.
Hearts of Oak head coach Herbert Addo went into the game under a lot of pressure from the Phobian fans following Hearts’ unimpressive start to the league.
Addo fielded a strong side but his line-up did not include the experienced Kofi Abanga who had spoken of their winning ambitions. Togolese striker Foovi Aguidi was left out while Burkina Faso goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye was left on the bench.
In-form striker Gilbert Fiamenyo was partnered by Selasi Adjei while Ruben Gnagne and Philip Boateng played in central defense with South African Shaun Mason October and Ghana U20 defender Owusu Bempah playing at the lateral defense.
Leonard Tawiah played a holding midfield role while Ashitey Ollenu, Richard Yamoah and Thomas Abbey played on the wings.
Kotoko coach Mas-Ud Dramani stuck to his line-up but introduce a few names including Burkina Faso forward Ahmed Toure into the line-up after he was rested.
Abeiku Ainooson, former Maritzburg United winger Frank Gyamfi, Jordan Opoku and Michael Akuffo were all among the Kotoko starters.
Kotoko dominated play for the opening five minutes until Hearts of Oak took over and scored through Selasi Adjei. The Phobians had gone in search of goal with Ollenu Ashitey scrolling through Emmanuel Asante and Ainooson before setting up Fiamenyo whose was blocked by Ofori Antwi.
Selasi Adjei arrived in time to tuck the ball home.
Hearts tactically dominated the game after scoring their only goal and could have added a goal or two but Adjei and Fiamenyo all wasted chances.
While Kotoko were trying to find the equaliser, South African Mason October was claiming the better of the Kotoko defenders and attackers on the flanks.
He was named man of the match.
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