Kumasi Asante Kotoko beat their arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak 3-1 in a tension-packed GT Premier league match at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.
Kotoko scored all their goals in the first half through Douglas Nkrumah who scored in the 15th minute when he connected home a free kick taken by Nana Arhin Duah.
With Kotoko stoutly controlling the midfield led by Kwabena Dodzie it came as no surprise when he increased the tally in the 21st minute from Arhin Duah's cross.
Kotoko playing with more vim and determination, they continued to pile the pressure on Hearts who could not find their rhythm. Hearts, sensing danger replaced Prince Tagoe with Joe Louis in the 42nd minute but this could not deter Kotoko from scoring their third goal in the 43rd minute through Dan Acquah who headed home a free kick again from Arhin Duah.
On resumption of the second half, Hearts substituted keeper Sammy Adjei who looked jittery for Sannie Mohammed in the 47th minute and from then turned the tide in their favour making some incursions into the vital area of Kotoko but could not find the net.
Kotoko brought on Edmund Owusu-Ansah for George Yamoah in the 64th minute. Hearts were still slightly on top and came to scoring in the 67th minute but Bernard Don-Bortey's header was parried to corner by Kotoko's keeper, Eric Nii Baah but the resultant kick was wasted. With their pride at stake, Hearts sent in Amankwaah Mireku for Lawrence Adjei two minutes later to strengthen their defence when Kotoko continued to pin them to their half.
Joe Louis who brought some bite into the attack of Hearts combined beautifully with Don-Bortey and Mireku and piled pressure on the Kotoko defence and managed to score a consolation goal in the 72nd minute when Mireku headed home a well taken corner kick by Don-Bortey.
Hearts at this stage dominated the game and attacked from all angles and this forced Kotoko to bring in Ali Ouadrago for Kwabena Dodzie in the 86th minute to thwart the attack of Hearts.
Kotoko mounted a last minute onslaught but they could not increase the score line until referee Atikese whistled for the end of the proceedings.