Hearts of Oak earned a 1-0 victory over Kumasi Asante Kotoko
A late penalty from Vincent Atingah was what the Phobians needed to pick the three maximum points.
It was drama in the first five minutes of the game as continuously four Hearts of Oak players – Malik Akowuah, Alex Kouassi, Inusah Musah and Samuel Akurugu fell like leafs.
But Kotoko were dominant side, using the flanks to open Hearts of Oak defence. The away had the first chance in the game in the 8th minutes but Ahmed Adams headed wide Eric Donkor’s free-kick.
The Phobians managed to get into Kotoko box – Akowuah teed up Thomas Abbey but he fell down as he was looking for a penalty.
The Porcupine Warriors rattled the cross bar from Michael Akuffu’s free-kick in the 13th minute, two minutes later Felix Annan from a long kick found Yakubu Mohammed but the bulky forward shot wide.
Akurugu denied Kotoko the first goal as he blocked Yakubu Mohammed’s point blank strike with one hand.
The Phobians began to warm themselves into the game as they kept passing the ball around but the Kotoko were resolute at the back.
Akurugu came to the rescue of Hearts of Oak again – Sarfo Gyamfi raced into Hearts of Oak goal area, he found Mohamed but his shot was neatly saved by the former Hasaacas shot stopper.
With five minutes to end the game, the Phobians kept the heat on Kotoko, as they pushed for the opener, but the away side kept their composure as they relied on counter-attack.
From the recess, Hearts of Oak initiated their first attack – second half substitute Patrick Razak who came on for Daniel Kodie was thread through by Samudeen Ibrahim but the diminutive winger cross just couldn’t find his target.
Hearts of Oak kept Kotoko off balance with long balls, they relied on the pace of Razak – the latter kept Eric Donkor at bay .
The tempo of the game reduced drastically approaching the 70th minute mark. Both sides decided not push men forward but it was Hearts of Oak who were the dominant side.
Kotoko should have scored the first goal in the 71st minute, Mohammed was thread through by Donkor but with his weaker foot shot wide.
Moment later Baba Mahama who came on for Sarfo Gyamfi pushed Hearts of Oak back with his pace and skills.
Felix Annan was called into action from the first time in the game as neatly saved Abbey’s half volley.
In the 83rd minute, Hearts of oak were handled a penalty after Ahmed Adams handled Samuel Yeboah shot in the box, Vincent Atingah stepped forward send Annan to the wrong way to put the Phobians ahead.
After the goal, Kotoko put a lot of bodies forward trying to get the equalizer, but the Phobians held their guns to win the game.