Kumasi, Sept. 25, GNA – The match week three super clash encounter between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak ended one goal apiece at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
It was a match the Porcupine Warriors could have won but for their wastefulness upfront with Ugandan import, Steven Dese Mukwala being the worst culprit.
With an improved performance over their shambolic display at the same venue in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League last week, Kotoko dominated their archrivals in both halves of the match but failed to make their dominance count as they settled for 1-1 draw.
Yussif Mubaric fetched the opener in the 57th minute after Hearts failed to deal with a free kick from he right side of their penalty box.
The Phobians also equalised from a similar situation when Caleb Amankwah nodded home with a powerful header from another free kick by Denis Nkrumah-Korsah.
Kotoko game started the match on a high intensity as they created the first decent chance in less than one minute, but penalty appeal by Mukwala would not receive the approval referee Selorm Yao Bless.
They sustained the pressure in search of an early goal and came close on two occasions but both efforts missed target narrowly.
Against the run of play, Kwadwo Obeng Junior almost broke the deadlock on the 14th minute when he delivered a thunderbolt in the penalty area, but his effort hit the side of the net.
Hearts of Oak at this warmed themselves into the game as they created half chances through the midfield but poor finishing robbed them of any chance of taking the lead.
On the 37th minute, the home fans thought the opener had arrived when goalkeeper Richmond Ayi made double saves during a goalmouth melee.
As Asante Kotoko stepped up their game with sustained pressure on the visitors, forcing Coach Samuel Boadu to make two quick substitutions, bringing on Fatao Mohammed and Enock Asubonteng for Yakubu Zakari and Isaac Mensah respectively.
The first 45 minutes however ended goalless as both teams went into the break without a deficit.
Another penalty appeal by Kotoko was again ignored by the referee two minutes after the break as he waved play on when Isaac Oppong was brought down ì the box
Kotoko continued to ask the backline of Hearts of Oak questions with series of dangerous incursions into their half, but Caleb Amankwah and Konadu Yiadom repelled all the threats.
Mukwala could have fetched the opener after he went round Konadu Yiadom, but the Ugandan import blasted wide with only goalkeeper Richmond Ayi at his mercy.
The Porcupines would however make amends three minutes later through their defender, Yussif Mubarik who pounced on a rebound in the 18 yard box.
It was a free kick taken by Augustine Agyapong on the right side of the penalty box which was punched away by Ayi, but the ball went only as far as Mubarik who found the back of the net with a shot from close range.
The goal saw Hearts of Oak lifting their game in search of the equaliser as they pushed more men forward but failed to pose any threat to the Kotoko defence.
However, with three minutes to end proceedings, Caleb Amankwah connected home a free kick by Denis Nkrumah Korsah to cancel Kotoko’s one goal advantage.
Source: Ghana News Agency