Accra Hearts of Oak played a 0-0 draw game but with Kotoko but win the Ghana at 60 anniversary cup match 3-1 on aggregate.
The Phobins finally claimed a trophy in 2017 following a dogged display against Kotoko at the Babayara on Sunday.
Team Hearts had beaten the Porcupines 3-1 in the first encounter and had the luxury of defending their two-goal cushion against Kotoko.
Head Coach Frank Nuttall handed first starts to Aminu Alhassan and Christopher Bonney whilst Inusah Musah started his reign as captain of the side before capping it off by lifting the giant trophy.
Kotoko had the last laugh of the season but they would not get the final grin of the year as Hearts defended resolutely to win the club’s fourth Independence anniversary trophy.
The Phobians took a while to get into the game but when they got into their groove, it was their possession of the ball that caught the eye not their finishing as Awal Mohammed and Awudu Nafiu ensured chances were at a premium in their box.
However when Hearts’ biggest chance of the game fell just before the break, Cobbinah dallied for Awal to make up ground and clear the ball following a brilliant three-versus-two move that had Razak stretching the Kotoko back line whilst Cosmos took up a ready-to-shoot position. But Cobbinah slowed his pass only to give it late for Cosmos who’s bundled with the ball by Awal.
Kotoko had two good chances to open the scoring but Akrofi stood his ground to clear Emmanuel Gyamfi’s effort on the line with goalkeeper Ben Mensah beaten.
The biggest story of the first half had to do with an injury scare on Sadick Adams, who had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance following two minutes of hold-up in play.
Adams, who had stolen the show in Tamale, was kept quiet by defensive stalwart Inusah on the day but after a collision of heads between the duo, the Kotoko attacker seemed lost before appearing to faint a few minutes past the half-hour mark.
Kotoko appeared on top after the break but Ben Mensah was superb to deny Awudu Nafiu’s venomous strike from hitting the back of the net. The Hearts no.1 was quickly off his feet to put off Nafiu from slamming home the rebound.
The Phobians did not need to attack in drove but most a times when they bombed forward, they fell in the offside trap.
Back-from-loan Aminu Alhassan appeared undaunted by the fact that his first game had come in Ghana’s biggest club game as he ensured Kotoko did not have a whiff at the Hearts goal.
The draw meant Hearts return to the capital with the Ghana at 60 Cup. The real work was done in March but it’s well completed in Kumasi as Hearts leave 2017 with a grin, a cup and an early Christmas gift for its teeming fans.