Hearts and Kotoko in action ACCRA HEARTS of Oak deepened Kotoko's woes when they licked the champions 2-1 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
A goal in each half from Hassan Mohammed and multi-talented Obed Ansah was enough for Hearts to call off the bluff of Kotoko who snatched a consolation in the dying embers of the game, via enterprising Stephen Oduro's solo effort.
With the important win Hearts have increased their lead in the league ladder to seven clear points and are on the verge of winning their 20th league title this season.
Despite carrying the day and amassing the three valuable points at stake, Hearts left their arch rivals off the hook when they shockingly squandered begging chances to the chagrin of the Phobian faithful that thronged the packed stadium.
Young and inexperience Samuel Affum was the worst culprit as he blew away begging chances that were easier to score than to miss on countless occasions.
The Phobians made clear their intentions of running away with all the points at stake immediately the game got underway, as they nicely interchanged passes among themselves to the delight of soccer fans at the stadium.
The visitors were particularly on top in midfield where Obed Ansah, Francis Joojo Bossman and Kofi Abanga operated.
Even the presence of the Africa Youth Championship gold winner Agyeman Badu in the Kotoko midfield could not help the champions as they chased shadows all day.
Hearts could have taken the lead in the 5th minute but Abanga who was in a good position uncharacteristically shot wide.
The visitors probed further and it came as no surprise at all when they broke the deadlock in the 11th minute from the boot of Hassan Mohammed.
Kotoko's goalkeeper Soulemana Abdoulai failed to deal with Abanga's low drive at first attempt and Hassan who was hovering around the goal area had the easiest of tasks, tapping the ball into the yawning net.
Then on Hearts opened more fire on the homesters and could have increased their tally but lack of experience on the part of Samuel Affum robbed them of more goals.
Kotoko on the other hand came close to scoring but they failed to take their chances as Kojo Poku, Stephen Manu and Alex Asamoah squandered all the chances that came their way.
Obed Ansah who was a delight to watch all afternoon, after playing a one-two with Eric Gawu, intelligently unleashed a grounder into the Kotoko net.
Hearts then seized dominance of the game again, nicely drawing rings around the Kotoko players but they failed to increase their lead.
Oduro who was introduced in the second half announced his presence when he released a boomerang which sailed past the Hearts goal post.
Then on, Oduro brought life into the Kotoko play and he reduced the team's deficit in the 77th minute when his low drive sailed into the Hearts net.
After the game drama unfolded when Kotoko's outspoken assistant coach Isaac Opeele Boateng openly wept like a baby to the delight of the Hearts fans. From I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi.