Kotoko pip Hearts to win May 9 Anniversary match

first_imgA relatively inexperienced Asante Kotoko side, from the club’s junior side, pipped Accra Hearts of Oak by a goal to nil in a friendly match to commemorate the death of 126 soccer fans who perished in 2001 when the two sides clashed in a crucial league game.A scrappy first half goal from Kwadwo Poku Jnr gave followers of the Porcupine Warriors a needed respite. For the first time in many years Kotoko could potentially lose out on the annual Top 4 fiesta.It was a game to dry the tears of the hundreds of families whose lives have been changed drastically by the tragic deaths and it appeared both sides cared little about the final outcome.Kotoko paraded a completely different and inexperienced side and Hearts had a good mix of youth and experience, including the surprise return of Sammy Adjei.It was the Phobians who set the game alive with Tawrick Djibril’s brilliant individual display hard to gloss over.The young schemer combined well with Felix Baffoe and Theophilus Afful in midfield but failed to create any goal scoring opportunity. The Kotoko lads had nothing to lose and looked even more comfortable on the ball, stringing their passes together and on three occasions were awarded a free-kick at dangerous positions but on two occasions, kicked outrageously wide.The last of the kicks was better, forcing a superb save from Sammy Adjei.Dreadful defending from the Phobians led Kwadwo Poku Jnr punishing them as he latched on a stray shot and finished off at close range.Felix Baffoe looked emasculated in front of goal and let Hearts down when it mattered most.Right from the second half, the Phobians accepted the challenge and mounted ceaseless pressure on the young Kotoko lads who stood firm and resolute. Kotoko’s goalkeeper George Arthur was forced out with injury after he was cluttered in, but his replacement, Bempah continued from where his colleague left off with some breathtaking saves.When it dawned on Hearts that they needed more purposeful play upfront, it was pretty late. Not even the introduction of Samuel Affum and Mahatmah Otoo could change the fortunes of the club.One-nil it ended in favour of the Porcupine Warriors in thier first ever May 9 memorial clash after animosity scuppered previous attempts to get the two sides to play.Match report by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghanalast_img