Accra Hearts of Oak won the 2023 President’s Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win over rivals Asante Kotoko on Sunday afternoon in Accra.
President Akufo-Addo witnessed the game, which was also a league encounter between the two sides.
The 3 points lifted the Phobians to 4th on the league table with only their 2nd win in 5 games, and gave them their 6th President’s Cup title.
The two teams started frenetically, with end to end action dominating the first 15 minutes.
Asante Kotoko fired the first warning of the game when Stephen Mukwala fired a one-on-one opportunity over the bar from inside the box. It was a rather disappointing finish from a promising situation.
Moments later, Benjamin Yorke found himself free on the other end for the Phobians, but his effort, when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, was saved by Danlad Ibrahim. A combination of poor finishing and great goalkeeping saving the Porcupine Warriors.
Opportunities dried out by the half hour mark when both teams settled into the game, sandwiched by a moment of chaos when a melee ensued following a Richmond Ayi tackle on Mukwala. Moments before that, Yorke’s finish had been ruled out for offside.
Moments before the break, the tempo of the game picked up and Enock Morrison fired a shot over before feeble efforts by Linda Mtange and Yorke were calmly collected by Danlad as the game headed into the break in a stalemate.
After the break, Hearts of Oak found the opening goal through Konadu Yiadom’s fabulous header into the far post, connecting beautifully from an Mtange set piece.
Kotoko pressed for the equalizer from then on and dominated possession, but it was the Phobians who found openings on the break, all of which were wasted.
With time running out, Sherif Mohammed’s header cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and back out. It was the closest the Porcupine Warriors had come to a goal all game.
Kotoko piled on incessant pressure in the last 5 minutes of the game plus an additional 6 minutes of injury time and had a late penalty appealed turned down, much to the delight of their fans as Hearts of Oak held on for the win.
The win is the Phobians’ 2nd in 6 league games and move them above Kotoko into 4th on the league table.