Ashanti Gold suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hearts of Oak on matchday nine of the Ghana Premier League on Sunday.
The hosts paraded an unchanged squad that defeated city rivals New Edubiase in mid-week, but the Phobians coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi made one change to his squad that shared the spoils 1-1 with WAFA last week. Paul Acquah was handed his first start of the campaign, replacing bulky striker Musah Ibrahim.
Hearts made known early enough their intention to leave the Len Clay Stadium with the maximum points, with defender Owusu Bempah and Acquah making dangerous moves in Ashanti Gold’s area. However, goalkeeper Fatau Dauda stood up to the challenge keeping his post safe after 16 minutes.
AshGold took matters into their hands and had their first shot on target on 23rd minute. Skipper Eric Opoku latched onto a pass from his teammate but sent his final delivery beyond the target.
The game stood at a goalless draw by half time, but back from the break Hearts proved more determined, breaking the deadlock by the 52nd minute through Cosmos Dauda.
With Hearts still holding possession, Dauda planted a header inside the net from a corner-kick to power the visitors’ lead to 2-0 by the 63rd minute.
The Miners coach Hayford made two quick substitutions on 69th minute, bringing on former Sekondi Hasaacas striker Fredrick Quayson and Godfred Rockson to replace Alhassan Nuhu and Fusienu Nuhu respectively as they pushed men forward to save the day. Three minutes later, Quayson combined beautifully with Awudu Nafiu, who pulled one back for the home side to push the final quarter to the wire.
Ashanti Gold, despite several efforts on goal, failed to surmount the bulwark defence of Hearts for the equaliser, despite an injury-time goal opportunity for Kadri Mohammed which he failed to exploit.
Hearts, who are second with 18 points, will host fierce rivals Asante Kotoko, ninth on the log, on matchday ten, while Ashanti Gold travel to Cape Coast to lock horns with Ebusua Dwarfs.
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