Hearts pip Kotoko on penalties to win President Cup

Hearts pip Kotoko on penalties to win President Cup
Hearts of Oak celebrating win during the 1st July 2015 Republic day celebration Presidential Cup which is played between Accra Hearts of Oak v Kumasi Asante Kotoko ©Christian Thompson/BackpagePix

by Ameenu Shardow

Thursday Jul 02, 2015. 10:43

Hearts of Oak retained the President Cup after securing a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over rivals Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Michael Akuffo missed Kotoko's opening kick while Togolese Foovi Aguidi converted the last kick of the game for the Phobians.

The Phobians went into the tie as defending champions after beating Medeama SC in the 2013 edition but knew they had to work extra to overcome their bitterest rivals before home fans.

Hearts won on shootouts en route to their last success in the competition as they eliminated DR Congo giants TP Mazembe and the repeated the feat against Kotoko.

Though the clash was confirmed 48 hours to kick-off fans turned out to offer support to their respective clubs on the holiday.

Kotoko trekked to Accra in search of ceremonial revenge before they travel back to the same venue for their Ghana Premier League return leg next month.

The Phobians created numerous chances in the opening quarter of hour but attacker Eric Kumi generously left Kotoko off the hook.

While Kotoko were struggling to settle into the field, youngster Isaac Mensah perpetuated his orchestrations of fomenting turmoil in the final third of the Kotoko field.

In the 17th and 27th minutes were moments Hearts should have taken advantage of Kotoko's defensive organizational flaw but Kumi's finishing was always a big relief for Eric Ofori Antwi who was kept busy in most parts of the first-half.

Early minutes of the second-half brought low intensity which seemingly justified the fans booing of both teams as they file out of the tunnel for the resumption of the second half.

It was Kotoko who had the first real chance after the break. Hearts of Oak's defense failed to deal with a goalmouth melee and the ball fell to Eric Donkor who unbelievably fired wild.

The reaction to his miss was greeted with disappointed from the Kotoko bench coach David Duncan striking the air in anguish.

Kotoko gradually settled into the game and Abdoulaye Soulama had to be at his best to deflect a Ahmed Toure's non-drop thunderous strike.

The Burkina Faso international applied a powerful volley to a Prince Baffoe cross and Soulama reacted with an equally great save.

Duncan appeared to have spotted the weakness in his defense and introduced Akwasi Acheampong to take the place of Smallboy Korblah.

Issah Mumuni was booked for felling a Kotoko midfielder in the 61st minute before Eric Kumi also went into the referee's pocket for his theatrical works inside the Kotoko box.



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