Isaac Mensah was a thorn on the flesh of Kotoko and forced Edwin Tuffour into two quick clumsy challenges and he was booked on both occasions, which saw him sent off the pitch dejected.
Kotoko were not down spirited with 10-men, and forced Hearts into childish mistakes. They pimped forward and grabbed the a goal on the run of play.
A lob by Theophilus Nyame into the Hearts area and follow up by Dauda Mohammed forced Richard Akrofi to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, Soulaman Abdulaye, but the glovesman mistimed the ball and scissor kicked it into his own net, and the roof of the stadium was erupted. There was nothing more before recess.Hearts came out of their blocks gunning for the needed equaliser, but Cosmos Dauda sold his goal-getting boots, fluffing all the glorious chances.
The Phobians were on course to drawing level, however, the heat from the spectators unsettled their play. Kotoko fans hooted at every miss kick and their loss of ideas could be felt.
Michael Osei deviced the strategy of intercepting passes rather than winning the ball, and it worked to perfection as Hearts were frustrated. However they created the chances required, but failed to convert them.
At the other end of the pitch, a dinking ball from left back Eric Donkor beat the defensive line of Hearts of Oak and Dauda Mohammed capitalized. Souaman Abdulah raced off his line to curtail the danger, but he ended fouling Dauda, giving Awal Mohammed no option than to reduce them to ten men.
The resulting free kick was harmless. Hearts attacked through the left flank with Ashittey Olenu who came on for Sarbah Laryea.
The winger drove in a ferocious cross, but the unmarked Cosmas Dauda failed to score. Dauda Mohammed could have doubled Kotoko’s lead, but Samuel Akurugu pulled off a super save to keep the game at the reach of Hearts.
The Phobians huffed and puffed but were unable to grab the equaliser, and Kotoko leave the Accra sports stadium with all points, extending Hearts’ wait to beat them at the venue to seven years.