Sports News of Sunday, 27 November 2016
Accra Hearts of Oak reached the final of the 2016 G6 Tournament after eliminating rivals Asante Kotoko 6-5 on penalties at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Both sides scored from the spot in regulation time after brilliant exchanges in a regulation time that ended 1-1.
Patrick Razak was fouled inside the box by Felix Annan and defender Vincent Atinga stepped up to convert before Amos Frimpong levelled for Kotoko after Thomas Abbey handled the ball inside the box.
Obed Owusu and Kwame Kizito should have scored in open play but both missed decent chances.
Michael Osei named a strong side featuring Ahmed Adams, Dauda Mohammed, Frank Gyamfi and off-season gem Emmanuel Gyamfi.
Hearts’ assistant coach Henry Wellington named veteran attacker Bernard Don Bortey in his squad.
The Phobians expressed attacking intent in the open quarter of an hour with Isaac Mensah, Patrick Razak and Kwame Kizito missing decent chances.
In one of those explosive bursts, Anthony Nimo cut a measured pass to Mensah whose vision found Razak on the right. The winger laid a pass to skipper Thomas Abbey but Kizito missed the final ball.
Kotoko warmed themselves into the game and created some worrying moments for the Hearts backline. Dauda Mohammed and Obed Owusu both came close.
Sarfo and Gyamfi had no comfortable ride against Nimo and Otoo. But the outstanding player of the half was defender Vincent Atinga whose towering figure was a big obstacle for Dauda Mohammed.
After the interval, Patrick Razak was flowing with his electrifying pace to create problems for the Kotoko lateral defence.
One of such burst on the flanks led to opening goal of the match. He broke free and outpaced his marker, beat Kotoko keeper Felix Annan felled him inside the box and referee Prosper Addy signalled for a penalty.
Vincent Atinga elected himself and dispatched the ball beautifully.
Kotoko equalised under similar fashion when skipper Thomas Abbey was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box and trademark Amos Frimpong fired home for the Porcupines.
Triallist Isaac Quansah expertly bent an impressive ball from inside the box after beating his marker.
None of the two sides was able to claim the winner until the regulation minutes petered out.
Hearts won the shoot-outs 6-5 on penalties to set a date with Aduana Stars who beat Bechem United on Saturday in the other semi-final clash.