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Grant not bothered by Hearts penalty shootout exits in Ghana Special Competitions

14:46 GMT+3 17/06/2019
Hearts of Oak coach Kim Grant
The Phobians boss reflects on their elimination from the Ghana Special Competition on Sunday

Hearts of Oak head coach and director of football Kim Grant has hailed his team's performance despite their shootout loss to arch-rivals Asante Kotoko in the Ghana Special Competition semi-final on Sunday. 

The Phobians' hopes of reaching the final, ended in disappointment as they fell 5-4 to the Porcupines at the Accra Sports Stadium.  The match ended 1-1 after normal time.

“What I would like to say is that I am so proud of the boys because they kept on going and going," Grant said after the game. 

"In the second half, we controlled the game and I tried to make the changes to get the momentum going and keep Kotoko on the back foot.

"We had one penalty disallowed and we got a second one later. I was looking for that never-say-die attitude and the boys showed it.

"If these boys stay together and keep working hard, they will go places.

"I feel bad for the players but they have worked hard to get here and I am proud of them.

"In that short space of time that I have been here, I am proud of what they have done. I hope that they learn from this and we will come back stronger next year.”

Centre-back Mohammed Alhassan, who just missed out on a place in Ghana's final 23-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, failed to convert in the shootout after Kotoko's Abdul Safiu Fatawu and Hearts' Christopher Bonney cancelled out each other in normal time. 

It was the second straight penalty defeat for Hearts following a similar elimination from the Special Competition Knockout.

"Unfortunately, it was our second semi-final loss but it is a work in progress," Grant said. 

“I am not bothered by the losses we have had in shootouts.

"When it gets to penalties, it is a matter of fine margins and luck. They took theirs and scored and we missed ours. It is that simple."

In the final, Kotoko will face Karela United who beat Ashanti Gold 1-0 in the second semi-final tie.