DEFENDING champions, AshantiGold yesterday held league leaders Accra Hearts of Oak to a 1-1 draw encounter in their week 22 Premier League fixture played at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Hearts were hoping to open a six-point gap on top of the league table as both Wa All Stars and Kumasi Asante Kotoko were defeated in their respective games but were denied by an impressive Ashgold side that at a point looked like the side to pluck a win.
The Phobians took the lead in the 29th minute through a penalty expertly converted by Robin Gnagne after Patrick Razak was fouled by Fatau Dauda in the Ashgold goal area.
The visitors then took over the game and fired from all corners in search of the equaliser with Osei Bafour as the main architect.
The pressure paid off in the 41st minute through a thunderous strike by Anthony Yarful from close range to give Ashgold a deserved equaliser.
Hearts almost took the lead again in the 45th minute but Kwame Kizito’s header went inches off the bar to send the game to recess.
The second half saw a more resolute display from the Miners who appeared to be comfortable with a point and protected it with all their strength.
Hearts despite exhausting all three substitutions failed to find the back of the net as Ashgold held them and threatened occasionally with some swift counter attacks.
Things got worse for Hearts after defender Inusah Musah was sent off after a second booking.
This brought the visitors back into the game, dictating the pace with the Phobians being forced to reorganise themselves defensively while struggling to launch occasional attacks.
Obviously satisfied with a point, Ashgold recoiled into their shells and defended gallantly while they looked for opportunities to catch their hosts on the break – but Hearts remained resolute until the referee whistled for the end of the game.
By Michael D. Abayateye