The Phobians once again maintained their unbeaten away run in the ongoing campaign after sharing the spoils with the Porcupine Warriors.
Asante Kotoko shared the spoils 1-1 with fierce rivals Hearts of Oak in matchday 21 of the Ghana Premier League at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday.
Hearts coach Sergio Traguil made one change to his squad that defeated Berekum Chelsea on Wednesday. Thomas Abbey replaced Kassenu Ghandy but Kotoko stop-gap manager Michael Osei made three changes to his team that lost 4-1 to Ebusua Dwarfs.
Kotoko’s Dauda Mohammed had the first shot on seventh minute after connecting Theophilus Nyame’s flick on, but his effort went wide, with Hearts gradually warming themselves into the game.
After 17 minutes, Kotoko’s Emmanuel Gyamfi sent in a long range shot after controlling Osei Agyeman’s pass but it was blocked by goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama and Kwame Boateng calmly slotted in the rebound for the opener to set the stadium ablaze. The goal was the hosts’ first goal against the Phobians at the facility since 2012.
Hearts reacted swiftly and had two clear chances to find the equaliser but Patrick Razak and Isaac Mensah wasted the efforts by the 33rd minute.
Few minutes later, Hearts defender Mensah was brought down close to Kotoko’s box by Atta Kusi but the resulting free-kick by Samudeen Ibrahim went over the bar.
Hearts showed glimpses of the threat they still possess with Ibrahim and Mensah causing troubles to Kotoko’s back four.
Razak finally found the all-important equaliser on 51st minute following a counter attack. The striker, who joined the Phobians from FC Utrecht in the second transfer window, latched onto Mensah’s through pass and sent his effort past onrushing goalkeeper Ernest Sowah to send the travelling supporters into wild jubilation.
Hearts threw men upfront in search of the match-winner but failed to found a breach in the hosts’ defence.
On 63rd minute, the Accra giants had two quick chances to take the lead for the first time in the game. Eric Kumi squared a ball to Samuel Yeboah but it was blocked by Amos Frimpong and Razak’s shot from the rebound was parried to corner-kick by goalkeeper Sowah.
The last chance in the game fell to Hearts striker Musah Ibrahim, who came on for Samuel Yeboah but he failed to go past Sowah after coming one-on-one with goalkeeper.
Hearts still lead the log with 38 points, three points above Wa All Stars, who have a game at hand against Medeama SC, while Kotoko have moved one place down to fifth position.
Hearts will welcome Ashanti Gold to Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday while Kotoko travel to Bekwai to lock horns with relegation-threatened New Edubiase United.
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