Kotoko, Hearts draw in K’si

Hearts defenders watch as Saddick Adams squanders the last opportunity of the game   Photo Godwin Ofosu Acheampong

Hearts defenders watch as Saddick Adams squanders the last opportunity of the game Photo Godwin Ofosu Acheampong

Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak played out a 1-1 draw encounter in their outstanding Ghana Premier League week 23 match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, yesterday.

Hearts fetched the leader through Kwame Kizito with Saddick Adams scoring from the spot to share the spoils.

The end-to-end action saw Vincent Atinga clear the first danger for the Phobians when a Emmanuel Gyamfi pass brought Saddick Adams close to goal in the second minute.

Kotoko followed up again a minute later as Adams latched on an Augustine Sefa pass but his shot was saved by Ben Mensah as the host piled early pressure on the visitors.

With the early onslaught of Adams, Gyamfi, and Baba Mahama, Hearts withdrew to a 4-5-1 formation that helped them soak the pressure and catch Kotoko on the counter but their crosses into the area were all dealt with by the towering Awal Mohammed.

In the 13th and 14th minutes, Awal and Ahmed Adams had to be at their best to thwart two efforts from Fatau Dauda from the right with Samudeen Ibrahim and Winful Cobbinah struggling to break the right side of the Kotoko defense.

The defensive pair of Adams and Awal set the stadium into ruptures in the 20th minute with the impressive manner they dealt with a Hearts attack but the following attack was halted as Hearts launched another attack which was cleared.

Adams missed the brightest chance as his header to a Saddick Adams cross missed the post by inches.

Hearts responded swiftly and attacked on two occasions – both having Patrick Razak in the thick of affairs. After being caught in an offside position in the first attack, Razak decided to go for glory and in the process, forcing the best save of the half from Felix Annan who dived to save Razak’s fierce drive in the 35th minute.

That marked the beginning of a sudden Hearts dominance that saw the visitors lay a siege in Kotoko’s half and forced a number of errors from the Kotoko back men, especially Felix Annan who was lucky not to have conceded from one of those errors.

Referee Gagba then ignored a Razak penalty appeal after Adams looked to have caught the attacker’s foot in one of his threatening runs, leaving the Hearts fans in anger over that decision.

Despite the sustained pressure, the Phobians failed to break the Kotoko rear to end the half on a barren note.

The second half started on a slower note as both sides found ways of unlocking the other’s defense but it was the much aggressive Phobians who found an answer to that puzzle with a clinical finish from Kizito less than 10 minutes into the half.

Just when Kotoko were beginning to dominate again, Hearts intercepted a loose ball and built a quick attack from their area.

The ball was then floated to Cobbinah who controlled beautifully, succeeded in drawing the Kotoko to one side before laying a cool one for Kwame Kizito to slot home the opener.

Kotoko were left battered but quickly reorganized themselves as they assumed control with Obed Owusu coming out for Yakubu Mohammed and Frank Sarfo Gyamfi for playmaker, Baba Mahama as Steve Polack attempted to strengthen the attack.

It paid off some few minutes later when Kotoko earned a penalty in the 79th minute after Fatau was adjudged to have handled an Amos Frimpong goal bound shot.

Saddick Adams converted expertly the resultant kick for the equalizer with 10 minutes left but he let the Porcupine Warriors down when he missed a glaring opportunity at the closing stages of the game.

lizer with 10 minutes left but he let the Porcupine Warriors down when he missed a glaring opportunity at the closing stages of the game.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi

email
Print Friendly

Leave a Comment