Kotoko tame rivals Hearts in Ghana derby

Asante Kotoko continued their recent dominance over their bitterest rivals Hearts of Oak on Sunday after in the Ghana Premier League with a 2-1 win in a Week Six clash at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Incensed by their recent victories against Liberty Professionals and Ebusua Dwarfs, Hearts were confident of recording a win over Kotoko who had managed just a win from their last three games.

Ticket prices shot up, but that did not deter the fans from filling the stands on the day to support their favourite clubs amidst loud singing and jubilation. The pre-match hype was one that favoured the home side especially with the inclusion of the likes of midfield duo Emmanuel Nettey and Frederick Ansah Botchway, but that did not deter the Porcupine Warriors who went into the game as underdogs.

The opening minutes belonged to Hearts as they pinned Kotoko in their own half, winning three corner kicks in the process, but in all instances, the defense kept it out of danger. New import, Daniel Afriyie had the best chance to grab the opener for the home fans in the ninth minute but his header from a Joseph Esso cross missed the post by inches. Indeed Hearts were flying at this stage.

Against the run of play, Kotoko grabbed the opener through Justice Blay, an action that sent their vociferous fans into a state of frenzy.

Back from recess and the Phobians will throw more men forward in search of the much-needed equalizer, and after several failed attempts made a breakthrough in the 64th minute through striker Joseph Esso who headed home from close range.

It was then a ding-dong affair from then on as both sides created chances but either poor finishing or good defensive work from the defenders made sure the scoreline remained unchanged.

Kotoko fans were thrown into another state of jubilation right on the 90th-minute mark when they were awarded a penalty after a Hearts player handled in the box. Naby Keita elected himself and slotted past Heart goalie Richard Attah for the winner.

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)

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