Substitute Patrick Razak delivered a stunning 89th minute strike for Hearts of Oak as they clinched their seventh President’s Cup against arch-rivals Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday.
It was a captivating spectacle from both sides, but it was Hearts who secured the bragging rights with 2-1 victory over the current league leaders Asante Kotoko.
The match preceded a ceremonial kick off by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as he demonstrated his skills having flipped the ball at the center of the park.
Both sides named a strong line-up for the match and the game begun on a feisty and cagey note, but Asante Kotoko looked calm on the ball as they displayed some depth passes all round.
Sulley Muntari who was making his second appearance in a Super Clash came close in giving Hearts the lead with a free kick outside the penalty box but his shot missed target narrowly.
Tempers were certainly high halfway through the first half especially after massive collation between Muntari and Mudasiru at the centre which led to exchange of words but Referee Gabriel Opoku ensured calm.
Hearts came close in taking the lead on half hour mark after a ferocious 25 yard strike from Isaac Mensah, which was tipped off the cross bar by inform Kotoko goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad.
Muntari looked very dangerous from set pieces and came close in giving Hearts the lead but once again goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad was equal to the task having delivered a stunning save.
Frank Mbella Etouga who was mostly kept at bay by the Hearts defence had a sight at goal on the brink of halftime, but the Hearts defender Mohammed Alhassan produced an important block to deny the marksman.
The first half ended goalless.
The second half started with both sides on the front foot in search of the opener
Afriyie Barnieh broke the deadlock for Hearts on the 51st minute mark as he powered in a left foot drive inside box to send the home fans ecstatic in the stands chanting: “Arose Arose Arose, Be quiet and don’t be silly…”
Muntari who was superb in the game came close in doubling the lead for the Phobians but Ibrahim Danlad dealt with the situation this time round.
The Kotoko lads were certainly stunned with the goal from the Phobians as they struggled to keep possession for long.
The Hearts defence were resolute in the defending having taken the lead as curtailed most the attacks by the Porcupine Warriors.
Kwadwo Obeng Junior should have doubled the lead for Hearts with a quarter of the game left after quagmire in Kotoko’s defence but his effort from close range sealed wide.
Substitute Samuel Boateng with just his first touch of the ball restored parity for Kotoko as he powered in right footed strike past goalkeeper Richard Attah in the 76th minute of the game.
Hearts were forced into a triple substitution after Kotoko’s equalizer with the introduction of Patrick Razak, Gladson Awako and Caleb Amankwah.
Patrick Razak in the 89th minute delivered a stunning solo strike as he dazzled past the Kotoko defence to win the trophy for the Phobians.
Hearts Starting Line-up: Richard Attah (GK), Fatawu Mohammed, Dennis Korsah, Mohammed Alhassan, Robert Addo, Aziz Nurudeen, Salim Adams (Patrick Razak 82mins), Sulley Muntari (Gladson Awako), Kwadwo Obeng Jnr, Isaac Mensah (Caleb Amankwah, 82mins), Afriyie Barnieh.
Kotoko Starting Line-up: Ibrahim Danlad (GK), Augustine Agyapong, Yussif Mubarik, Abdul Ganiyu, Ibrahim Imoro, Justice Blay, Salifu Mudasiru (Samuel Boateng), Sherif Mohammed, Richmond Lamptey (Richard Boadu, 59mins), George Mfegue, Frank Etouga.