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09.04.2006 Football News

Hearts share honours with Kotoko

Hearts share honours with Kotoko

... in Onetouch Top 4 top liner Accra, April 9, GNA - Two well taken second half volleys by Hearts Moses Andoh and Kumasi Asante Kotoko's George Yamoah ensured that the honours were shared at the Onetouch Top 4 top liner at the El-Wak Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The draw keeps Kotoko's impressive record of not losing to Hearts in any Top Four encounter intact but leaves the Phobians on top of the four team table and now have to share their top spot with Kumasi King Faisal who beat Berekum Arsenals in their encounter at the Sunyani Coronation Park.

Hearts who came into the match as the favourites, nearly opened the scoring in the second minute when Bernard Don Bortey profited from a misjudgement of a loose ball by Aziz Ansah and Shiila Alhassan. However with Mohammed Alhassan in post for Kotoko at his mercy, Bortey tried to chip the ball over the on-rushing keeper, but his effort went straight into Alhassan's hands to the relief of the Kotoko fans. Kotoko's reply was immediate as they pushed forward earning two quick corners in the sixth minutes but the strikers failed to take advantage of the set pieces.

Worse was to come for the supporters of Kotoko when in the ninth minute as they thought they had taken the lead after a cross from George Yamoah found unmarked Prince Amoaku in the Hearts vital area but with the open net at his mercy, the striker who is staging a return to Kotoko after years playing outside fired wide off target.

Hearts, cheered on by their supporters came close in the 13th minute when a cross from skipper Amankwah Mireku created a melee in the vital area of the visitors' box before the Kotoko defence cleared their lines.

After the early anxious moments which saw both teams failing to convert the chances that came their way, the game turned scrappy with most action concentrated in the midfield till the end of the first half. The second half started with Hearts dominating the early exchanges and nearly went ahead in the 47th minute but for the alertness of Godfred Yeboah who cleared a goal bound ball from the line.

Hearts' moment of glory came in the 54th minute when Moses Andoh, a new recruit from Sekondi Hasaacas, punished a momentary lapse in concentration by the Kotoko defence who gave him too much space and time on the ball to fire an unstoppable volley into the corner of the net giving goalkeeper Alhassan no chance.

Kotoko, sensing danger brought on Ahmed Toure for Osei Kwame Junior and the change appeared to have yielded the desired effect upfront as the "Porcupine Warriors" started putting more pressure on the Hearts defence.

Yamoah finally settled the nerves of the Kotoko fans when he put them on level pegging in the 71st minute when he also fired in another sweet volley from the left to draw Kotoko on level terms. The game from then on saw both teams taking turns to raid each others area without much success.

Deep into injury time, Kotoko fans thought they had snatched a last minute winner but a header from Nana Arhin Duah from a free-kick was adjudged offside by the assistant referee to bring the final score to one all.