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Ghana Football: Hearts’ record against Kotoko’s pride on Sunday

Sun, 15 Apr 2012 Source: george osei (okotosports@yahoo.com)

The last time Kumasi Asante Kotoko beat Accra Hearts of Oak in a league game at the Baba Yara Stadium was in the 2005 season when they posted an emphatic 3 – 1 victory over their bitterest rivals in Ghana football.

Since then, the Phobians have won four of the five battles fought in Kumasi including the last three, and will be in confident mood of keeping that run going as they play as guests of the Porcupines in the top fixture of this weekend’s action in the Glo Premier League (GPL).

Sunday’s game in Kumasi will the 48th league encounter between the two sides in the Garden City since top-flight football started in Ghana in 1958 and promises to be one of the most keenly contested in recent times.

In the previous 47 played, Kotoko hold a 20 – 17 winning record over Hearts, with the two sides playing out 10 drawn games in the process.

A draw is the least result both will be looking for as they go into this battle although if it ends that way, the Porcupines would have maintained their 10 points lead over Hearts at the summit of the league table.

A motivating factor that would urge them on to go for all three points is that dominance the Phobians have held over them in Kumasi since the 2006/07 season, a sequence that has seen Hearts score nine goals in five matches as against four by Kotoko.

In the first round game in Accra, Kotoko were the odds on favourites to collect the three points, but Hearts frustrated them to a goalless encounter despite the result seeing them maintain the leadership of the table then.

The Porcupines still lead the standing with six games to end the campaign after this weekend’s fixtures, and like the Accra game, they are many people’s favourites to collect the three points after 90 minutes of action.

They sit very comfortably at the summit of the GPL table and seem the most likely team to win the diadem at the end of the season. Kotoko would like to cap that glory with victory over their bitterest of rivals on the Ghanaian scene. Hearts though have history on their side from the last five encounters, and would be guided by that as they go into this battle knowing they stand in with a chance of winning.

They have won their last two games and that is confidence enough to take into Sunday’s game as they seek to protect their fine run in Kumasi in recent times. In other games in the GPL this weekend, second placed AshantiGold has a difficult assignment on hand as they travel to the Harbour City to face the might of Tema Youth at the Tema Sports Stadium.

Youth sit just outside the relegation zone and need to points to push further up as the season draws to an end. They will count on their fine record at home to win this game against the Miners who are the most form side in the GPL this second round and battling Hearts for the second position.

Defending champions, Berekum Chelsea host New Edubiase United at the Golden City Park at Berekum and would expect to win the three points ahead of their CAF Champions League clash with Cameroonian giants Coton Sport Garoua next weekend. Aduana Stars will fancy their chances of picking all three points as they host relegation threatened Berekum Arsenal in a Brong Ahafo regional derby at the Nana Agyemang Badu II Park, Dormaa.

Inform Medeama SC welcome another relegation threatened side Bechem United to the Tarkwa T&A Park where they are yet to lose a league since they relocated there this second round.

Ebusua Dwarfs however have lost their last six games meaning confidence in their camp is at a low and could see that compounded for them if they fail to raise their game against Wassaman United at the Len Clay Stadium at Obuasi. Liberty Professionals and Heart of Lions will square off at the Alhaji Sly Tetteh Park at Dansoman as both sides seek to improve their fortunes in the league after disappointing results last weekend.

Wa All Stars will seek to get back to winning ways when they welcome troubled Mighty Jets to the Wa Stadium. Jets have been very disappointing this second round after failing to win any of their games and up north, it would be difficult to see how they will pick a point. Source: George Osei: okotosports@yahoo.com

Source: george osei (okotosports@yahoo.com)