Kumasi Asante Kotoko failed to beat Accra Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium despite dominating the entire second half and the Phobians also playing 15 minutes of the second half with 10 men.
The Porcupine Warriors started the game brightly by pushing the Phobians to the back and making threatening runs into the vital area of the visitors, but their attack made up of Ben Acheampong, Michael Helegbe and Kofi Nti Boakye failed to utilise the chances that came their way,
Accra Hearts of Oak’s returnee midfielder Laryea Kingston then stamped his authority on the game and became a torn in the flesh of the Kotoko defense, particularly Rashid Sumaila who could not contain him.
Determined to prove a point Laryea weaved his magic through a forest of Kumasi Asante Kotoko legs but his final delivery lacked power and was saved by Soulama Abdoulaye.
The former Ghana international again gave a tailor measured pass to Mahatma Otoo with the Kotoko defenders caught ball watching, but the Accra Hearts of Oak captain was ruled offside by assistant referee Ben Vormawor
The best chance in the first half fell to Boakye in the 15th minute after being set up by Helegbe, but with Tetteh Luggard at his mercy, the Kotoko captain shot straight into his hands.
Both sides made incursions into the penalty area of the others but the forward liners were not up to the task as they squandered glaring goal scoring opportunities.
The second half was a one-sided affair as the Phobians look quite jittery and tired but the Kotoko attack failed to punish them with the likes of Boakye remaining anonymous in the whole of the half.
Hearts of Oak defender, Ali Alhassan, who had already got booked in the first half was sent off by referee Atikese following a two footed challenge on midfield anchor Michael Akuffo but despite all this the closest the Porcupine Warriors came was Helegbe’s audacious volley which was saved by Luggard.
Both sides made changes with the likes of Atakora Gyimah coming on for Moro Abubakar and Nurudeen Ali coming on for Helegbe but it added little to the game.
The coach of the Phobians, David Ducan, will walk into the tunnel with broad smiles as his first day in office against their bitterest rivals ended with a clean sheet.