MATCH REVIEW: Asante Kotoko Beats Hearts Of Oak To Qualify For #NCSpecial Final


Kumasi Asante Kotoko stormed the Accra Sports Stadium with a lackluster performance to beat bitter rivals Hearts of Oak to qualify for the finals of rue NC special competition tier one through the penalty lottery.

The game which was the 99th game between both clubs at the Accra Sports Stadium saw the porcupine warriors increase their number of victories at the Accra Sports Stadium to 35 as the Accra based Accra Hearts Of Oak continue to maintain their wins at 30. 

Both clubs started cautiously knowing the bragging rights at stake, but with few exchanges in the first two minutes.

Asante Kotoko however showed signs of scoring with Kwame Boahen and Naby Keita moving to the right wing of hearts of Oak, putting pressure on William Dankyi.

The defence of Hearts failed to notice the threat possed by the the duo, and failed to
clear their lines quickly.

In the fifth minute, Kwame Boahen dispossessed his marker, and sent a short pass to Naby Keita, who back heeled to Fatawu Shafiu to shoot straight into the lower left corner of the Hearts post, beating Ben Mensah in goal.

After the Goal, the Hearts defence regrouped,and shaped up in midfield, with Benjamin Afutu, and Aminu Alhassan controlling affairs.
This did not stop the Asante Kotoko wingers from running the lines, with Kwame Boahen
occasionally swinging some passes to his front men.

The game became much more tight in the middle with Both Amos FRIMPONG, and Kwame Bonsu having difficulties in the improved hearts midfield, who had Manaf Umar joining, Hearts of Oak got a number of free kicks in then goal area of Kotoko but failed to utilized any,bringing the game to a first half end.

Hearts of Oak came into the second half strongly with Kofi Kordzi taking the place of
Kojo Obeng Jr, the substitution seemed to work as hearts created some more openings in the Kotoko area.

Hearts of Oak continued to impress , but the defence of Asante Kotoko stood resolute to
prevent any havoc.
Coach Kim grant introduced Malik Akowuah, and Traore Abubakar into the game to strengthen his attack, Charles Akonnor on the other hand brought on Jordan Opoku for Naby Keita, the substitution did not have any instant impact, as both sides continued to size up each other, even though Hearts continued to dominate.

Hearts of Oak’s Kofi Kordzi proved a worthy substitute, with his bulky nature, he turned
mist of the Kotoko defenders, but his shots went wide.

In the 90th, Hearts of Oak protested against the Referee For not allowing a penalty, after
Joseph Esso was seemingly brought down in the box.

But just before the two teams will settle, Referee awarded aoenalty to Hearts of Oak
after a Kotoko defender handled the ball in the box, Christopher Bonney, Who has scored 5
penalties already in the competition stepped up.

And calmly slotted to take the game into penalty shootout.

In the penalty shootout, Mohammed Alhassan wastes his kick to give Kotoko the win, after all nine players for both sides had scored.

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