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GPL; MATCDAY 21 SUNDAY GAMES REPORT

Match day 21 of the Ghana Premier League continued. Asante Kotoko SC took on Hearts of Oak SC at the Babayara stadium. This game was the weekend's headliner. Elsewhere at Essipong, Hasaacas locked horns with league debutants , Dreams FC. Below is a comprehensive summary of the two games played today.

MATCH OF THE WEEK
ASANTE KOTOKO SC Vs HEARTS OF OAK SC

SETTING THE SCENE
Coach Michael Osei with the midweek's whitewashing of his side at Cape Coast on his mind reverted to a two man central midfield. The pair of Nyame and Nyarko starting. Kwame Boateng was handed a rare start upfront to partner Dauda Mohammed . Atta Kusi started at right back in a make shift defence which saw Osei Agyemang returning to his favorite left center back role in the absence of Adams. Ernest Sowah who had a bad day at Cape Coast manned the post for the home side. Veteran Stephen Oduro was named on the bench as well as returnee and ex-captain Seidu Bancey.
Sergio Traguil of Hearts, kept faith in Soulama Abdoulaye who had a long time off after his blunder in the reverse fixture. Richard Akrofi started at right back again with Thomas Abbey playing in place of  U-20 World Champion Kassenu Ghandi. Tawiah started ahead of Shaban Laryea once more. Having failed a late fitness test, Dauda Cosmos place was  taken by Sam Yeboah in a three man attack which included Razak and Mensah. Midweek winner, Kwame Kizzito settled for a place among the substitutes.

LINE-UPS
Asante Kotoko SC:
Sowah; Kusi, Kyere, Agyemang, Amos (c); Nyame, Nyarko, Sarfo, Gyamfi; Boateng, Dauda.
Subs: Quao, Owusu, Oduro, Ofori, Bancey, Asante, Annan.

Hearts of Oak SC:
Soulama; Akrofi, Abbey, Gnagne (c), Inusah; Tawiah, Essuman, Samudeen; Razak, Mensah, Yeboah.
Subs: Akurugu, Atingah, Yamoah, Kumi, Acquah, Kizito, Musah Ibrahim.



FIRSTHALF
Determined to inflict more pains on the home side, players of Glorious Hearts of Oak took the game to the home side from the blast of William Agbovi's whistle. The duo of Razak and Samudeen combined beautifully in the opening minutes. One of which resulted in an freekick down the right hand side of Kotoko's defence after Atta Kusi was adjudged to have brought down Razak who latched unto Samudeen's pass. The resultant kick was wasted. In ascendancy, another through ball from Samudeen found Sam Yeboah who after latching unto the ball decided to seek the referees mercy for a penalty after colliding with Osei Agyemang. The referee waved play on. On the 16th minute a rare surge upfront from the porcupines led to the opening goal. Osei Agyemang's lovely pass from his own half found Emmanuel Gyamfi on the edge of Hearts' penalty box. Emmanuel controlled the ball well and hit a ferocious volley which was parried into play by Soulama. Kwame Boateng was the quickest to respond and tapped home from close range. Soulama was beaten at his near post. Hearts quickly responded and on the 19th minute when an unmarked Razak who had switched flanks with Mensah volleyed from 6 yards out but his tight shot went over the post. The game was well balanced after then. A seemingly jaded Dauda Mohammed had a penalty appeal ignored with less than five minutes to end the first half of the game. 1-0 it ended, in favour of Asante Kotoko.
           Kwame Boateng joined by his players to celebrate the opener

SECOND HALF
Coach Traguil brought his tactical know-how to bear when he decided to take off Tawiah, a combative midfielder, and in his place brought on Eric Kumi, an attacking midfielder on the 46th minute. Kumis's direct style of play through the middle caused a lot of problems for the home defence marshalled around Amos Frimpong the captain of the side. With Kotoko under siege now, it did not take long for Patrick Razak to find the equaliser for the away side. He latched unto Mensah's lofted through ball and kept a cool head o put the ball past an on-rushing Ernest Sowah. Game on. The game became physical afterwards with many fouls but no caution to complement it. On the 73rd minute, one of such battles saw Kyere leaving a trailing leg which stuck Mensah in the side. This happened on the blind side of the referee. With less than a quarter of the game time remaining, Bancey replaced Dauda. Emmanuel Asante also made a return to the side after he replaced Sarfo Gyamfi. Sowah was forced to make three clearances off his line as his side were exposed on counterattacks. There was few to fetch between the side afterwards as the game headed for a stalemate. Hearts still lead the pack with All Stars breathing down their neck.

Asante Kotoko1, Hearts of Oak 1

HASAACAS  SC Vs DREAMS FC
In a less watched game at the Essipong Stadium, Sekondi Hasaacas defeated Dreams FC by 2 goals to nothing. Richmond Opoku got a brace in the second half to ensure that the Giants of the West condemned their counterparts from Kweiman. It was Coach C.K Akonor's second defeat in his last 5 games having won the remaining 3.
                    Jubilant players of Sekondi Hasaacas
STANDINGS
TEAMS                                                PLAYED                                    POINTS
1.Hearts                                                        21                                              38
2.All Stars                                                     20                                              35
3.Aduana                                                      21                                              34
4.Kotoko                                                      21                                              33
5.Medeama                                                   19                                              33
6.Dreams                                                       21                                              32
7.WAFA                                                        21                                              30
8.Chelsea                                                       21                                              29
9.Liberty                                                        21                                              26
10.Techiman City                                             20                                            26
11.Ashgold                                                      21                                             25
12.Hasaacas                                                    21                                             25
13.Dwarfs                                                        21                                            24
14.Bechem                                                       21                                            23
15.Allies                                                           21                                            22
16.New Edubiase                                             21                                            18


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