The much-awaited ‘Super Clash’ between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak ended in a stalemate at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The match should have come off 21 days ago, but an unfortunate incident involving the team bus of Asante Kotoko on the Nkwakaw highway on July 12 meant the fans had to wait for this clash.
And it was worth the wait as both teams served fans with a high-tempo display characterized by end to end stuff and several talking points.
Undoubtedly, the biggest game on the Ghanaian league calendar drew a large number of vociferous fans of the two clubs into the stadium with the Porcupines outnumbering the Phobians.
Kotoko, despite being inactive for three weeks, started the game very strongly pressing high up the pitch. The Porcupine Warriors solely relied on the momentum gained from the fans to begin the game on the ascendancy but once that was deflated, the visitors took charge and began to dictate the tempo of the game.
The visitors came alive and seemed to have found their mojo as Kotoko gradually lost their steam and early firepower. The Porcupine Warriors went into hibernation leaving Winful Cobbinah and Leonard Tawiah bossing the midfield.
The back line of Kotoko made up of Awal Mohammed and Ahmed Adams kept Kwame Kizito and the pacey Razak in their pockets.
It was and end-to-end action in the first half but chances were few and far.
After recess, the pendulum swang back in Kotoko’s favour as they bossed the game and controlled the tempo with Baba Mahama and Emmanuel Gyamfi taking centre stage. They defied the fact that their inactivity will be a hindrance heading into the latter stages of the game. Hearts on the hand, were struggling to put pieces together and seemed to have lost the midfield battle.
And when they had their backs against the wall, they responded with a goal and they did so in style in the 60th minute. Winful Cobinnah went past two Kotoko players with a dummy and found right-back Fatawu Mohammed who squared the ball to Kwame Kizito to open the scoring.
Steve Polack responded by making a tactical change by bringing on Yakubu Mohammed for Obed Owusu who had a quiet afternoon as well as winger Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi for Baba Mahama.
With the game heading for a Hearts victory, Amos Frimpong received a cross from the right side attack and aimed a pile-driver at goal but his shot was adjudged to have been handled by Leonard Tawiah.
Sadick Adams converted the resultant penalty to level the tie. His third for Kotoko in the league and ironically the third penalty he has put beyond Ben Mensah in the space of a month.
— Ghana League Goals (@GHPL_Goals) August 6, 2017
It was all about the Porcupines after the equalizer. Tried as much as they could for a winner, Vincent Atingah, Richard Akrofi and Robin Gnagne dealt solidly against the onslaught.
Sadick Adams missed a sitter when he had only goalkeeper Ben Mensah to beat for the winning goal in what was virtually the last kick of the game.
The draw sees Kotoko maintain their fourth position on the league table with 36 points, having a game in hand against WAFA. Hearts occupy the third spot with 40 points, 4 points adrift of leaders Aduana.