Sports News of Friday, 22 December 2017
Matches between Hearts and Kotoko always offer Ghanaian football fans series of spectacles both on and off the field.
There have been some scintillating clashes between the two Ghanaian giants in the past and recent times.
Below some of the memorable clashes between the two giants:
Asante Kotoko 1 Hearts of Oak 2 (May, 1978)
Bismark Odoi broke the deadlock for Hearts in the 15th minute with a superb finish but Victor Sereboe got the equaliser for the Porcupine Warriors in the 53rd minute.
Kotoko’s equalizer didn’t go well with the Hearts players, thus vehemently protested and in the midst of the confusion booted down referee Bah Alhassan, so after 10 minutes hold up in play, reree Bah Alhassan handed Seth Ampadu and skipper Robert Hammond their marching orders after challenging his decision.
Nine-man Hearts of Oak team shook Kumasi by netting the winning goal through the foot of Douglas Tagoe with two minutes to end proceedings.
Kotoko 3 Hearts 4 (August, 1983)
Hears of Oak ahead of this clash had failed to beat Kotoko in 7 consecutive league ties, since 1980, having lost 5 and drawn two, so they were hungrier for success.
The Kumasi fans, who taught that the tradition of inflicting defeat on their bitterest rivals, were left in disbelief when they saw their idol club trailing 3 goals by half time break: Emmanuel Botchwey fetched Hearts of Oak the opener in the 9 minute and doubled his side’s lead in the 32 minute, before Sam Yeboah scored the third in the 40 minute.
Back from recess, the Porcupine Warriors, woke up from their slumber and marshalled an all attacking play and in the course of that Opoku Nti did what would forever remain in the memories of Ghanaian football lovers. Nti scored the fastest hat-trick in the history of the league: 54 minute, 55 minute and 60 minute to draw Kotoko level.
However, Hearts of Oak still went on to carry the day after a goal from Odamtte in the 76 minute.
Hearts 2 Kotoko 1 (May, 2001)
There was a lot of tension prior to this game, due to Kotoko’s 0-4 loss to Hearts of Oak on the same grounds a season ago, thus were bent on avenging that humiliating defeat.
The beauty of the game was marred by the death of 127 fans that lost their lives due to a stampede at the Accra Sports Stadium. This is the worst stadium disaster in Africa.
The first half ended without a goal from either sides, but back from recess, Kotoko shot ahead through a brilliant 60th-minute goal by Lawrence Adjei whose 25-metre shot slipped through the hands of goalkeeper Sammy Adjei.
But Hearts’ equalizer through Ismael Addo in the 77th minute influenced the incorrigible fans to throw missiles into the stadium in protest against perceived injustice meted out to them by Cape Coast referee J. Wilson-Sey for allowing Addo to equalise from an offside position.
Addo again fired the Phobians into the lead in the 81st minute to secure victory for the Hearts of Oak’s team affectionately called the 64 battalions for their fearsome nature.
At the end of the 90 minutes the attention shifted from Ishmael Addo, whose two strikes snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for his side’s 2-1 victory, to the dead and injured fans.
The response to this crowd disturbance and throwing of missiles from the police was to fire tear gas into the crowd.
Panic ensued and a resulting stampede led to the deaths of 127 fans from asphyxiation a condition characterized by a severe deficient supply of oxygen to the body due to inability to breathe normal.
Kotoko 1 Hearts 1 (January, 2005)
Hearts won the maiden CAF Confederation Cup 9-8 on penalties in the final match against arch-rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko on Sunday at then called Kumasi sports stadium known as Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
Like the result of the first leg match in Accra a week ago, both teams settled for a 1-1 drawn game at the end of regulation time. Charles Taylor scored Kotoko’s goal in the 51st minute, incidentally his first goal against his former club, Hearts of Oak since joining Kotoko, while Hearts equalised in the 80th minute through Adjah Tetteh.
Dan Quaye, Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor, Francis Bossman, Acquah Harrison, Lawrence Adjei, Ablade Morgan, Adjah Tetteh and Michael Donkor scored for Hearts while skipper Amankwah Mireku missed his kick. For Kotoko, Issah Ahmed, Frank Osei, Yusif Chibsah, Michael Asante, Godfred Yeboah, Dan Yeboah and Michael Ofosu-Appiah scored from their kicks while Edmund Owusu-Ansah and skipper Joseph Hendricks missed their kicks.
Asante Kotoko 3 Hearts 1 (October 2017)
This clash is the most recent clash among the two Ghanaian giants, as Asante Kotoko toppled Hearts in the grande finale of the 2017 MTN FA Cup at the Tamale Sports Stadium.
Saddick Adams on Sunday 29th October 2017 in the final of the MTN FA Cup equalled the 34-year-old record set by Opoku Nti by scoring a hat-trick against Hearts of Oak.
Saddick Adams ruthlessness in the first half ensured Kotoko had a three-goal lead going into recess but Thomas Abbey goal in the second half could only serve as consolation goal for the Phobians.
Asante Kotoko on the day won their ninth FA Cup in the club’s history as they are set to represent Ghana in the next CAF Confederation’s Cup.