By Anwar U. Larry from the Accra Sports Stadium
Accra Hearts of Oak put up a scintillating display to beat Kumasi Asante Kotoko 3-1 in the first league of the Ghana at 60 May-Day Anniversary Cup at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday.
Thomas Abbey restored Hearts’ lead after Awal Mohammed had cancelled out Kwame Kizito’s opener before tormentor-in-chief Patrick Razak completed the impressive day with the final nail in the Kotoko coffin.
Team Hearts had been the better side in the first half but they were thwarted by the imperious Felix Annan combined some diffident finishing.
However, the Kotoko keeper was culpable to gift substitute Kizito the opener in the 66th minute. The lanky striker showed good endeavor to read the keeper’s attempted dribble before robbing him off the ball and beautifully guiding the ball into the empty.
The Hearts lead was cut short under 60 seconds when Awal towered over the home defense to head home from a free-kick from the right side of attack.
Captain Abbey came to the fore and put Hearts back in the lead with a brilliant and well taken goal. It was a goal worthy of winning any match but soon, Razak made the win emphatic.
The winger owed much credit to Fatawu Mohammed, whose endeavor down the channel forced a defensive wobble in the Kotoko box, for Razak to tap home.
It could have been more for the Phobians but 3-1 was enough on the rainy and unforgettable Monday.
President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, was the special guest of honour in the Ghana at 60 anniversary cup match, and with all protocols observed this brilliant, high quality display, unfolded for the fans who braved the rains to make it at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Second leg awaits Hearts on the 28th May. But maybe, the job has already been done; all the players need to do is to complete it in the return league.
HEARTS XI vs KOTOKO: Samuel Akurugu, Fatawu Mohamed, Anthony Nimo, Richard Akrofi, Vincent Atingah, Leonard Tawiah, Patrick Razak, Winful Cobbinah, (86 Samudeen Ibrahim), Cosmos Dauda (59 Kwame Kizito), Samuel Yeboah (83 Isaac Mensah), Thomas Abbey
Unused substitutes: Benjamin Mensah, Robert Addo, Daniel Kordie, Paul Acquah
Booked: Richard Akrofi (50), Leonard Tawiah (57)
GOALS: Kwame Kizito (65), Thomas Abbey (81), Patrick Razak (90)
KOTOKO XI vs HEARTS: Felix Annan, Ahmed Adams, Edwin Tuffour, Awudu Nafiu, Awal Mohammed, Jackson Owusu, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi (56 Emmanuel Gyamfi), Michael Akuffu (77 Seth Opare), Prince Acquah, Obed Owusu (79 Yakubu Mohammed), Abass Mohammed (72 Kwame Boahene)
Unused substitutes: Ernest Sowah, Eric Donkor, Abeiku Ainoosin
Booked: Jackson Owusu (23), Awal Mohammed (49), Edwin Tuffour (64)
MATCH REFEREE: PROSPER ARDII
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: PATRICK RAZAK