GPL Match Report: Hearts 0-1 Kotoko – Soulama gifts Porcupines ‘El Clasico’ win

Soulama Abdoulaye score an own goal and got sent off as Kumasi Asante Kotoko snatched a 1-0 Clasico victory over arch-rivals Hearts of Oak in the Ghana Premier League on Monday at the Accra Sports Stadium.

An unpardonable error on the part of Soulama Abdoulaye cost the Phobians on the day after he failed to handle Richard Akrofi’s harmless back pass.

Hearts of Oak’s defeat means that they have gone three games at home without a win and their second home defeat this season.

Both teams were highly motivated ahead of Ghana’s version of El Clasico, especially the Phobians who had failed in six seasons to beat the Porcupines warriors.

The build up to the game also saw a lot of media hype and the game lived to the billing as both sides went straight into action firing from all angles.

Burkina international and former Kotoko goalie Soulama Abdoulaye was selected by coach Kenichi Yatsuhasi to guide hearts of Oak post, while also fielding a formidable defence led by Ivorian skipper Robin Gnagne.

Dauda Mohammed also led Kotoko attack and had a strong start to the game and nearly scored from his first shot on target, but his effort was well saved by Soulama Abdoulaye.

Kotoko continued their strong start with another strong ball from Obed Owusu who was clearly up for the game but his effort missed the post narrowly.

The Phobians also initiated an attack of their own as Isaac Mensah lifted the ball onto the path of onrushing Samuel Yeboah but he shot wide.

Hearts of Oak made their first substitute in the 10 minute as Kennedy Appiah came on for injured Owusu Bempah.

The Phobians took total control of the game as they pushed Kotoko back and again came close to scoring when Yeboah rattled the cross bar after he connected Fatau Mohammed’s free-kick.

The phobians failed to get something out from the series of free-kicks they had in Kotoko goal area.

In the 29 minute, Kotoko defender Edwin Tuffuor was sent off for a second yellow card offence, but that did not stop them from attackinh the home side as they matched them boot for boot.

With few seconds to half time, Hearts of Oak conceded an own goal when goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye in an attempt to clear Richard Akrofi’s back pass, rather kicked the ball ‘unintentionally’ into his own net.

Hearts of Oak came strongly after the recess and nearly drew level through Cosmos Dauda and Isaac Mensah after goalkeeper Ernest Sowah pulled off two smart saves.

Hearts of Oak continued their dominance and piled more pressure on Kotoko but the away side’s defenders were up to the task as they cleared all the dangerous balls from their half.

Soulama Abdoulaye saw his day go from bad to worse when in the 63 minute was shown a straight red card after he rushed out of his area to charge down Dauda Mohammed who had raced through on goal.

With both Kotoko and Hearts of Oak reduced to ten men the tempo of the game changed, but Hearts made all effort to at least secure a point out of the game.

The Phobians crowded the goal area of Porcupine Warriors in search of an equalizer, but the away side were well composed at the back and defended gallantly to deny the home side even a point.


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