Kotoko defeats Hearts 3-1 in charity match

Kumasi Asante Kotoko recorded an emphatic 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in a charity match played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.

The outcome of the match makes Kotoko the overall winner of the two legged encounter organized by “Kome to My Aid International”, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO)  after the first leg ended one all at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi, last Sunday.

Playing before a not too impressive attendance compared to the turn out at the Baba Yara Stadium in the first leg, both sides sold out a much improved performance but it was Kotoko who dominated proceedings and climaxed the day with their sweet victory.

It was, however, Hearts who started the campaign for the opener as early as the 2nd minute, when Mahatma Otoo was given an accurate pass by Uriah Asante but with only goalkeeper Aboubakari Soulama in post for Kotoko to beat his shot surprisingly rolled across the goal post to deny him the opener, an opportunity, which was viewed as a gifted one.

The near miss was followed by a short-lived dominance by Hearts, after which Kotoko took over the pace of the game with Ahmed Toure and Nathaniel Asamoah proving a herculean task for the Hearts central midfield pair of Kofi Agyare and Saeed Mohammed.

Even though their dominance was occasional, Kotoko ensured the clearest scoring opportunity that came their way was adequately utilized as Kofi Nti Boakye made a simple tap of Asamoah’s cross, after he raced deep into the Hearts defence area to dislodge on-rushing keeper Laud Quartey before setting up the goal scorer in the 30th minute.

Hearts from then struggled to cancel the lead but failed as the game was pushed into the second half with the Fabulous lads still in the lead.

The early parts was more of a Phobia action as the second half resumed, with Prince Atakorah Gyimah blasting off a neat pass from Asante in the 49th minute.

Six minutes on, Asante managed a break through into the defence of Hearts and was brought down by Henry Ohene Brenyah in the vital area of which referee J.A. Amenya ruled a penalty in favour of the Phobians.

Douglas Nkrumah easily displaced keeper Soulaman to put his side on level terms in the 55th minute. Soulaman however had to take an early shower after he gave up in the 63rd minute through a knee injury and was replaced by Felix Annan.

Hearts continued with the search for the winner and massed up in the Kotoko defence but a break from the attack saw a quick build up by Asamoah as he went past Hearts Mohammed to deliver a perfect cross which Toure made a quick glancing connection with the head to put Kotoko ahead in the 67th minute.

Kotoko from then stuck to their game plan and it came as no surprise when in the 74th minute, they scored the third goal in a similar fashion after they again broke off from an attack by the Hearts strikers with a quick inter-positional build up.

Toure made a split of the Hearts defence before laying a pass on the path of Asamoah, who made another easy tap into the net as the ball rolled through the legs of keeper Quartey for the third goal to silence the vociferous Hearts following.

Kotoko thence took total control of the game and could have scored at least two more goals before the close of the 90th minute as the entire Hearts defence and midfield showed traits of a collapsed and disorganized side.

The Porcupine Warriors, however, were unable to take advantage of the helpless Hearts defence, whilst efforts by Hearts to reduce the tally with the introduction of Raymond Darkeh and Joseph Tagoe into attack did little to aid them recover from their woes till the final whistle.

Source: GNA

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