Kumasi Asante Kotoko have maintained their unbeaten record in the 2013-14 season of the Ghana Premier League after silencing giants Hearts of Oak 0-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Seidu Bancey's lone goal on the half hour mark was just enough to steal the show in the Super Clash as well as earn coach Didi Dramani the bragging rights in this keenly contested fixture.
The game started on a very high note with each side making early incursions to the others penalty area with the hosts having the first freekick in the game after Kwabena Edusei brought down Romeo Agban, but the resultant kick was wasted by left-back Owusu Bempah.
The Porcupine Warriors quickly warmed themselves into the game with midfielders Michael Akuffo, Yahaya Mohammed and Jordan Opoku exhibiting sheer brilliance.
Hearts of Oak could have broken the deadlock as early as the 15th minute as Winful Cobbinah broke loose on the left run and meandered his way into the Kotoko vital area but centre back Edusei was at hand to thwart his effort with a world class tackle.
Cobbinah again warmed the palms of Kotoko goalkeeper Isaac Amoako with an audacious 30 meter drive before Agban also missed two glorious chances in the space of two minutes.
The Phobians began to stamp their authority in the game firing from all cylinders and in one of such efforts youngster Gabriel Darko dummied two Kotoko defenders in the penalty box and with goalkeeper Amoah at his mercy Darko shot feebly into his hands.
Against the run of play, Kotoko seized the ball in midfield with Mohammed spotting striker Seidu Bancey in a flash with the former Dwarfs man hitting a ferocious long-range shot into the net as goalkeeper Tetteh Luggard got stranded in the post in the 31st minute.
At that point Hearts of Oak looked disjointed and coach David Duncan pulled out striker Selasie Adjei who struggled all afternoon for Eric Kusi in the 40th minute.
The second half saw coach Duncan bringing in midfielder Sampson Cudjoe and striker Gilbert Fiamenyo but Kotoko still maintained their dominance.
Koto striker Bansey who was having a good game proved a handful for the Phobians’ defenders with his pace and power as the Hearts backline of Robin Gnagne, Owusu Bempah and others were mostly found wanton.
Hearts came slightly into the game with youngster Eric Kumi initiating some attacks from the flanks and in one of such moves Kotoko defender Abeiku Ainooson intercepted the ball and quickly initiated a counter attack but Mohammed’s drive inside the box missed target by inches.
Coach Dramani also brought in Godfred Asante for Richard Mpong and also Prince Baffoe with Kotoko maintaining their total dominance of the game.
Mohammed released Seidu Bancey in the 80th minute but the striker’s shot was blocked by Gnagne whilst Yahaya who was tormenting the Hearts defense by playing deep in attack missed two glorious chances in the dying embers of the game which could have ended the game 0-0.
Kotoko have maintained an unbeaten league record in the fresh season with their second victory in two games as Hearts lose their first of the term earning coach Dramani the bragging rights in the Super Clash after the two previous fixtures of this game ended in draws.