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Sports News of Monday, 21 February 2022

Source: GNA

Super Clash Match Report: Enthralling stalemate as Hearts, Kotoko share spoils

Hearts' Sulley Muntari pulls away from a Kotoko player Hearts' Sulley Muntari pulls away from a Kotoko player

The highly anticipated 'Super Clash' between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko ended scoreless in an enthralling match-week seven outstanding spectacle played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Asante Kotoko with the point maintain their 12-point gap on their rivals who are eighth on the league standings after the first round of the 2021/22 Ghana Premier League.

The match began with Hearts of Oak in the ascendancy after two quick chances fell for Gladson Awako and Afriyie Barnieh but both players couldn't capitalise on them.

The tempo of the game was high-octane with some very dangerous tackles flying in.

Ghanaian international Sulley Muntari who was making his first appearance in the Super Clash for Hearts was superb in the middle of the park and nearly broke the deadlock on the 10th minute mark, but his acrobatic strike went narrowly wide.

Mbella nearly broke the deadlock for Asante Kotoko in the 13th minute but Richard Attah pulled off a spectacular save to deny the visitors.

Kwadwo Obeng Junior came close for Hearts on the quarter-hour mark but left for drive, struck the base of the post to relieve the Kotoko defence.

The game was very open for either side to take the lead halfway through the first half and Ibrahim Moro came close for Asante Kotoko with his 25-yard free-kick which narrowly went wide.

The Porcupine Warriors were forced into a first half substitution after Moro sustained an injury and was replaced by Patrick Asmah three minutes past the half hour mark.

Kotoko seemed to have found their passing rhythm going into the latter stages of first half and striker George Mfegue came close in the 38th minute with a well driven low shot but was safely gathered by Hearts goalkeeper Richard Attah.

The highly enthralling first half ended scoreless.

Kotoko started the second half in blistering fashion and Mbella Etouga should have given the visitors the advantage but couldn't time his header on target.

Kotoko were undoubtedly the better side in the early stages of the second half and Lamptey nearly gave Kototo the advantage on the hour mark but once again Richard Attah produced a last ditch save to deny the attacker.

The introduction of Ansah Botchway seemed to have consolidated the midfield area for the Phobians as they found a way back into the game after Kotoko's early second half dominance.

Hearts looked the more likely side to take the lead with a quarter of the game left as they mounted a series of attacking incursions on the Kotoko defensive line.

Hearts Captain Fatawu Mohammed came close with his right foot effort, but his shot went wide.

Both sides settled for a point each at the end of the game.

Starting Line-up for Accra Hearts of Oak:

Richard Attah, Fatawu Mohammed, Gladson Awako, Sulley Ali Muntari(Isaac Mensah, 52mins), Junior Obeng Kwadwo, Robert Addo Sowah, Mohammed Alhassan, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh (Kofi Kordzi), Abdul-Aziz Nurudeen , Salim Adams (Frederick Ansah Botchway, 52mins), Dennis Korsah.

Starting Line-up for Kotoko: Danlad Ibrahim, Abdul Ganiu Ismail , Augustine Agyapong (Richard Boadu, 82mins) Mudasiru Salifu(Justice Blay 81mins), Mubarik Yussif, Imoro Ibrahim (Patrick Asmah 24mins), George Mfegue, Franck T. Etouga, Richmond Lamptey, Dickson Afoakwa (Isaac Oppong, 58mins), Sherif Mohammed.