A 16th minute strike was all runaway leaders, Asante Kotoko, needed to silence their perennial rivals, Hearts of Oak, in Kumasi yesterday.
Besides helping the Porcupine Warriors consolidate their lead on the log, and inch closer to the title, the win, by a solitary goal, served as a sweet revenge for Kotoko, having lost recently to the Phobian’s in a cup match in Accra (President’s Cup).
It was also Hearts coach’s first loss to Kotoko, since joining them from Medeama.
It was also Kotoko’s first win against their bitterest rivals in ten years in Kumasi.
Striker Frank Mbella perfectly converted from the spot to beat Richard Aryee, after Aziz Nurudeen fouled Fabio Gama in the 18 box.
Earlier, Kotoko pressured, but Hearts were up to the challenge.
With 28 minutes remaining, coach Boadu reshuffled his cards and brought on newly signed former Kotoko right back, Samuel Inkoom, to replace Gladson Awako.
Few minutes before the referee ended the game, fans of Kotoko at the stadium switched into a frenzy state; chanting “ole ole ole.”
Kotoko are an inch away from grabbing the league title. Just a draw in their coming games will see them clinch the title.
BY Kofi Owusu Aduonum