Accra Hearts of Oak beat their arch rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko by a goal to nil in a feisty encounter in Accra on Sunday.
Vincent Atinga’s second half penalty sealed the win for the Phobians who move up to sixth in the Premier League
Kotoko started the game with power pace to the surprise of the home side who could only fall at any given opportunity to derail and kill the rhythm of the visitors.
Yakubu Mohammed the selected lone striker for the Porcupine Warriors was fed with through balls by holding midfielder Awal Mohammed but his finishing deserted him at crucial times.
Emmanuel Gyamfi who has been a revelation for the Porcupine warriors was at his electrifying best, producing decent in-swingers but the Kotoko forward failed to connect to the dismay of the travelling fans.
Soon after, Awal Mohammed picked up a yellow card for the Kotoko after a rushed challenge on Mustapha Esuman .
Hearts grew into the game but failed to take advantage of their good spell as the referee brought an end to the first half.
The second half was highlighted with an early injury to Kotoko’s midfielder Awal Mohammed and he was replaced by Edwin Tuffour in the middle of the Park.
Eric Donkor’s cross was met by Ahmed Adams but the unmarked defender’s header from close range went wide. Thereafter, Michael Akuffu’s free-kick sailed comfortably over the top of Hearts’ goal before Yakubu Mohammed threatened twice.
First was a shot from the penalty area saved by Akurugu before an audacious overhead kick missed the target narrowly.
Yakubu, again, came close. Frank Sarfo Gyamfi wriggled his way through a couple of challenges before teeing up the former Ashgold striker but his shot was easily gathered by Akurugu.
Kotoko goalie Felix Annan was on virtual holiday as the Phobians failed to test him.
But it was Hearts who got the first chance of the second half. A tactical switch by Nuttall saw speedster Patrick Razak replace Daniel Kodie and his first contribution resulted in Alexandre Kouassi hitting the side netting with a powerful strike.
Hearts continued to dominate as Kotoko run out of steam but Lugarusic responded by bringing on nibbled-footbed Baba Mahama in the 67th minute. Mahama weaved his magic instantly but failed to apply the needed finish.
However, with eight minutes to end proceedings, Hearts were awarded a penalty as referee Samuel Sukker adjudged Awudu Nafia to have handled the ball in the box. Vincent Atingah made no mistakes as he converted with aplomb to settle the game in Hearts’ favour.
By: Rahman Osman/citifmonline.com/Ghana