Hearts subdue Kotoko in Kumasi

FootballA well-organized Hearts of Oak displayed tactical discipline to beat archrivals, Asante Kotoko, 1-0 in their First Capital Plus Premier League clash at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi on Saturday.

The Phobians, right from the on-set, demonstrated sheer determination, attacking the Porcupine Warriors from all angles and in the process scored the only goal of the match in the seventh minute.

It was Selassie Adjei who was on target for the visitors as he blasted home from close range a thunderbolt in a goalmouth melee.

Five minutes later, Hearts were gifted another glorious opportunity when Shaun October set up Leonard Tawiah in a counter-attack, but the latter was wasteful upfront.

The Porcupine Warriors, sensing danger, varied their plan and initiated most of their attacks from the midfield with Jordan Opoku and Mike Akuffu operating effectively as they released some defense-splitting passes to the attackers.

Ivorian import, Ahmed Toure, was a pale shadow of himself in the attack and could not go past the impregnable Phobian defence centred around Robin Gnagne, October and Owusu Bempah.

The second half saw the two teams exhausting their substitutions with Kotoko bringing on Kwadwo Poku for Owusu Jackson, while Stephen Oduro replaced Jordan Opoku.

Hearts also brought on Kwame Kizito, Paul Acquah and Kwaku Andoh to replace Gilbert Fiamenyo, Richard Yamoah and Ollenu Ashietey, respectively.

It was Kotoko, who had the better of the exchanges and nearly leveled the scoring in the 63rd minute, but Opoku squandered the chance.

​Opoku two minutes later, had a clear-cut opportunity when he intercepted a pass in the Hearts’ goal area and on seeing Hearts’ goalie, Seidu Mutawakilo, advancing, he surprisingly shot feebly into his hands.

Substitute Kizito should have increased the goal tally for the Phobians on the stroke of full time, however, his goal-bound shot hit the foot of the post to end the match in Hearts’ favour.

Source: GNA

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