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Asante Kotoko

Hearts of Oak 1 Asante Kotoko 3: Sadick's hat-trick win FA Cup for Porcupines

21:08 GMT+3 29/10/2017
The Porcupine Warriors striker was once again at his best as he guided the team to end their trophy in Tamale on Sunday

Asante Kotoko hammered rivals Hearts of Oak 3-1 to claim the 2017 Ghana FA Cup at the Tamale Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Three first-half goals from Sadick Adams, who was initially feared to miss the game after limping off in Kotoko's last training session on Saturday, did the damage on the Phobians.

Hearts manager Frank Elliott Nuttall kept faith in goalkeeper Ben Mensah in post with Fatawu Mohammed, Joshua Otoo, Vincent Atinga and Richard Akrofi in front of him.

Leonard Tawiah, Malik Akowuah Patrick Razak and Thomas Abbey made up the midfield, while Winful Cobbina and Kwame Kizito led the attack.

Steve Polack, on the other hand, started with Felix Annan in post, with Amos Frimpong, Augustine Sefah, Ahmed Adams, Awal Mohammed in defence. Jackson Owusu, Seth Opare, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Kwame Boahene were in midfield while Obed Owusu played behind Sadick upfront.

Kotoko had the best of starts as they threatened the Phobians box in the first minute but Owusu's pass failed to locate Sadick. However, they were lucky in the second time asking, after Akrofi's pass to Atinga was intercepted by Kotoko's Boahene, who found a breach in Hearts' defence to send Sadick through. The striker kept his cool to slot home his effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Mensah.

Boahene almost gave Kotoko another goal three minutes later but the former Medeama star's shot was parried to corner-kick by Mensah and the resulting effort fluffed.

Hearts regrouped and gradually began to exert themselves on Kotoko in midfield, but the Porcupines were still dangerous on the break. Owusu, Sadick and Gyamfi were all close to give Kotoko the cushion but were unlucky with their last ditch efforts.

On 19th minute, Hearts midfielder Akowuah was fortunate to see only a yellow card after a flying challenge on Boahene. Razak was also brought down six minutes later on the edge of Kotoko's box by Seth Opare and although, Winful Cobbina was able to locate Joshua Otoo, the defender's header found the roof of the net.

Kotoko were soaring on the half-hour mark, as Sadick was tripped in Hearts' box by Akrofi and referee Latif Adaari pointed to the spot. The former Atletico Madrid youth striker stepped up to send goalkeeper Mensah the wrong way to make it 2-0.

Sadick completed his hat-trick before the break, after he latched onto a pass from Emmanuel Gyamfi following a miscalculation by Atinga, and he dribbled past onrushing Mensah before calmly slotting the ball into the empty net.

Hearts returned from the recess more purposeful upfront. Cosmos Dauda replaced Malik Akowuah and that substitution added more energy to Nuttall's outfit as they began to pile more pressure on the Accra giants.

Hearts eventually pulled one back by the 58th minute through captain Thomas Abbey and they could've added another goal five minutes later but Kizito surprisingly went for a placement instead of pulling the ball back for his teammate to tap in.

Hearts appealed for a penalty with almost 20 minutes remaining, after Razak fell in Kotoko's box but the referee had none of it.

The Phobians began to show signs of frustration as Kotoko resorted to time-wasting tactics to protect their two-goal advantage.

Dauda thought he had reduced the deficit on 83rd minute only to see his powerful shot blocked on the line by teammate Atinga. He had already been flagged offside though.

Polack brought on Baba Mahama and Yakubu Mohammed for Gyamfi and Sadick respectively in the dying embers of the game to slow down Hearts' push.

Kotoko were resolute at the back and held on to record a memorable victory.

They will represent Ghana in the Caf Confederations Cup next season with Aduana Stars playing in the Champions League after lifting the Ghana Premier League trophy.