Etouga’s Penalty Allow Asante Kotoko Defeat Hearts of Oak in Kumasi
The porcupine warrior, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, had the upper hand against their arch rival Accra Hearts of Oak right from the get go at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.
In the third minute, Imoro Ibrahim nearly put Kotoko in front when he pounced on a loose ball but his shot came off the woodwork.
Asante Kotoko pushed and put pressure on Hearts of Oak and they earned a reward for their early hard work.
Referee Kennedy Padi pointed to the spot after adjudging Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz to have fouled Brazilian playmaker, Gama, in the penalty box.
Franck Mbella Etouga stepped up and expertly converted to send Asante Kotoko 1-0 up after 17 minutes. It was the GPL leading scorer’s 16th goal of the season.
After the break, Imoro made another goal attempt from a free-kick but his effort flew over the bar.
In his bid to lift his side’s game, Hearts coach Boadu threw on Inkoom for a clash against his former side.
In the 68th minute, Gama had a golden opportunity to double their lead but he was only able to hit the side netting.
A series of half chances followed for both sides and after five minutes of injury time, referee Padi whistled to bring proceedings to an end.
Cameroonian striker Etouga was the hero of the day as his penalty sealed three points for the Porcupine Warriors against their arch-rivals.
It handed Asante Kotoko a 1-0 home win over Hearts of Oak in the Ghana Premier League. The Cameroonian’s first-half penalty made the difference in the matchday 24 fixture .
The Porcupine Warriors are eight points clear at the top of the table, firmly on course to win their first league title since 2014.
Hearts of Oak hold the sixth spot, 17 points below the league leaders and destined to lose the title they won last season.