and well-attended ‘Super Clash’ at the Accra Stadium yesterday.
Unbelievably, Hearts’ goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye, in an attempt to clear a back-pass from one of his defenders, ended up planting the ball into his net for what turned out to be the match-winner.
The victory not only gave Kotoko the valuable three points at stake but also the bragging rights at the Accra Stadium as it saw them recording their 17th win in their meetings with Hearts.
Incidentally, the game started on a bright note for the Phobians as Samuel Yeboah’s effort hit the woodwork in the opening minutes.
In the 30th minute, Kotoko’s left back, Edwin Tuffour was sent off for a bad tackle on Isaac Mensah, leaving Kotoko to plod on with 10 men for the rest of the game.
Surprisingly, Kotoko were more tactically disciplined thereon, dominating the exchanges, particularly in the midfield, but poor finishing robbed them of more goals.
Barely a minute after recess, Cosmos Dauda should have gotten the equaliser for Accra Hearts of Oak but he blasted the ball wide.
In the 63rd minute, the Hearts’ stopper, Soulama, who hardly recovered from his first-half blunder, was red-carded after fouling Kotoko striker Dauda Mohammed to see both teams at par with 10 men each. Striker Sam Yeboah was sacrificed for substitute goalkeeper Akurugu.
Some eight minutes later, Hearts’ Cosmos Dauda had another golden opportunity to put Hearts on level terms but messed up with the opportunity as he hit the woodwork.
A great save by Hearts’ substitute goalkeeper, Akurugu, in the 83rd minute prevented Asante Kotoko from getting their second goal from a strike by Dauda Mohammed.
Indeed, Akurugu had to stretch to the full to punch the ball back into play amidst cheers from the crowd. It was a real close thing.
When it was all over, an emotional Michael Osei, the Kotoko acting coach, was simply lost for words: “Let me simply congratulate my boys for a good work done,” he said as he wiped tears from his eyes.
Hearts’ Japanese coach, on the other hand, said: “We played well but we were unlucky. We will go back to the drawing board and get ready for the next assignment”.
On the whole, it was a good game, officiating too was commendable and fans were served their money’s worth.
By Herbert Boakye-Yiadom
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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