Hearts of Oak confirmed their superiority over their archrivals Asante Kotoko as they beat them 5-4 on penalties to win the 2015 President’s Cup at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium, Accra, after the 90 minutes of regulation time failed to get a winner.
Foovi Agudi scored Hearts’ last penalty to clinch them the trophy, after the players of both sides had converted from the spot kick, but only Michael Akuffu missed from the shootout.
Hearts of Oak had plenty of the possession and created decent scoring opportunities in the first half, but were not purposeful upfront as misses from their attacking duo of Eric Kumi and Paul Acquah denied them a goal.
The first chance of the game fell the way of Eric Kumi in the 18th minute after he had beaten his marker Smallboy Korbah, but he surprisingly missed from close range.
Kotoko could have gone ahead in the late minute of the first half when an inswing by Atta Kusi was wasted by Eric Donkor to bring the half into a close.
Back from recess the tempo of the game decreased, with the two sides playing a more relaxed game. The Porcupine Warriors at a point upped their game and created clear goal scoring opportunity with 20 minutes into the half, but Eric Donkor blasted the ball wayward to give Hearts of Oak a big sigh of relieve.
Soulayema Abdoulaye was called to duty by Kotoko marksman Ahmed Toure and the Burkinabe goalkeeper acrobatically saved the situation for Hearts of Oak.
Toure again headed a strong ball which hit the cross bar.
The referee following 2 minutes of added time ushered the two sides into a penalty shootout.
Hearts starting line-up: Soulama Abdoulaye, Fatau Abdulai, Isaac Oduro, Robin Gnagne, Philip Boampong, Saban Laryea,, Issa Mumuni, Isaac Mensah, Paul Acquah, Selassie Adjei,
Kotoko starting line-up: Ofori Antwi, Atta Kusi, Smallboy Korbah, Ahmed Adams, Michael Akuffu, Jordan Opoku, Prince Baffoe, Eric Donkor, Obed Owusu, Ahmed Toure.
This is the second time the Phobians have managed a victory over the Porcupine Warriors this season: they beat them 1-0 in Kumasi in the first round of the league.
Hearts of Oak were the last team to win it in 2013 when they edged Medeama 2-0.
In the penalty shootout: Kotoko missed their first spot kick through Michael Akuffu, but Eric Donkor Latif Amadu, Christopher Bonney and Dauda Mohammed all converted their penalty kicks.
Whiles Hearts of converted all their 5 penalty kicks through Robin Gnagne, Isaac Oduro, Gilbert Fiamenyo Richard Yamoah and Foovi Agudi to win the 2015 President’s Cup.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur presented the trophy to Hearts of Oak’s skipper Robin Gnagne.
In 2005 which is ten years ago Kotoko lost to Hearts of Oak in another painful penalty shootout to win the maiden Confederation Cup at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium Kumasi.
Although publicity was very poor, attendance was an average one and the most exciting part of the evening was the display by the Black Dwarfs who divided themselves into two to entertain the spectators during the 15 minutes of half time.
Winners of the President’s Cup
2003-Heart of Oak
2009-Hearts of Oak
2013-Hearts of Oak
2015-Hearts of Oak
Berkum Chelsea- 2 times