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Michael Akuffo wins day for Kotoko over Hearts

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A terrific 30 yards drive from Michael Akuffo in the 90th minute earned Kumasi Asante Kotoko a 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in their 24th week fixture of the Glo Premier League match played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi  on Sunday.

The winning goal came just after Hearts of Oak had equalized through substitute Mahatmah Otoo’s beautifully taken free-kick some seconds from his strike from a free kick that hit the woodwork and deflected into the net with goalkeeper Soulama Abdulaye pants down and with no answer that sent the Phobians into wild jubilation bur which was short-lived.

Kotoko who scored their first goal in the 36th minute through Kofi Nti Boakye’s header from a Michael Akuffo corner kick, has thus stretched their lead comfortably on the League table.

It was a match which both sides were determined to carry the day as could be seen as soon as referee Solomon Mordey whistled for the visitors to be the first to effect the kick-off of proceedings.

Kotoko quickly took over from their opponents and had two corner kicks in the early minute which were wasted with Kotoko still piling the pressure to find the net.

The Porcupine Warriors made a breakthrough in the third minute but the shot sailed over the bar with Isaac Ofori of Hearts also missing the posts narrowly in the 18th minute.

A shot from Michael Akuffo in the 28th minute was parried to corner by goalkeeper Philemon MacCarthy and the resultant kick was wasted to the chagrin the of the home spectators.

As Kotoko broke the deadlock in the 36th minute they continued to exert pressure on the visitors to end the half who decided to adopt a defensive play to hold at bay the fast attackers of Kotoko from causing any havoc.

Just as when the second half resumed, referee Mordey flashed the red card on the face of Hearts midfielder Laryea Kingston in the 47th minute for stamping on the leg of Kotoko’s Baba Rahman.

Undaunted about their numerical disadvantage, Hearts worked hard to redeem their image but their upfront failed to click as the defence of Kotoko kept them at bay.

Hearts had a free-kick in the 62nd minute but a header from substitute Mahatma Otoo missed the post narrowly and in a swift counter Kotoko’s Daniel Nii Adjei fumbled with the opportunity as he allowed the Hearts keeper to easily grab the ball from danger.

Two minutes later Nii Adjei was on target and his powerful shot injured Hearts goalkeeper Maccarthy who had to be replaced by Sammy Adjei.

Playing with 10 men, Hearts managed to find the equalizer from a Otto beautiful taken free-Kick but Kotoko quickly restored their lead from Akuffo’s long drive to send home their teeming supporters jubilating throughout the night for beating their arch rivals, the Phobians and to ensure their safe grab of the 2012 Premier League trophy without any more challenge.

Source: GNA

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