Super 2 Match Report: Songne's brace hands Kotoko advantage

Published on: 26 August 2018

The Porcupine Warriors came up tops in Sunday's rivalry fixture between Ghana's two biggest clubs, thanks to a brace from Burkinabe striker Yacouba Songne.

A goal apiece in each half from Yacouba Songne was the separating factor as Asante Kotoko sealed a famous win over arch-rivals Hearts of Oak in a two-legged friendly match on Sunday.

The attacker's 39th and 60th minutes effort at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi handed the Kotoko a two-goal advantage ahead of the 2nd leg of the highly anticipated friendly match.

With inactivity in Ghana football, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak agreed to do battle in a friendly encounter to keep their players in shape ahead of the resumption of the top flight.

Coach Seth Hofman handed Ernest Sowah his first start against his former employers with Fataw, Denkyi, Robert Addo, and Agyare forming the defence.

Malick Akowuah, Patrick  Razak, Samudeen, Obeng junior and Isaac Mensah forming a five-man midfield with Joseph Esso leading the attack.

Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin named a strong line-up with Osei Kwame starting in goal. Skipper Amos Frimpong Augustine, Sefa Agyemang, Badu and Wahab Adams forming the defence.

Jordan Opoku, Prince Acquah, Micheal Yeboah and Richard Senanu as the four-man midfield with Obed Owusu and Songne Yacouba leading the attack.

The Super clash began with an end to end stuff in the early emblems of the game with Asante Kotoko winning the first corner of the game but Hearts' defender Benjamin Agyare was swift to block the goalbound of Kotoko's Yacouba Songne.

In the 6th minute, Songne Yacouba speed past the hearts midfield but Benjamin Agyare stopped him  with a superb tackle to block his goal-bound shot.

There was a temporary hold up as the medical team attended to one of Hearts' players who seems to have received a knock by Kotoko's Augustine Sefa. Referee Hanson Maxwell showed him the first yellow card of the game as a result of the tackle.

The lively Patrick Razak connected a ball in Kotoko's box five minutes later as he tried to whip in a cross but Obed was quick to send the ball out for a corner kick.

Joseph Esso went close for the Phobains after he pounced on the ball delivered by Razak but it came late. Esso was unable to continue the game after a tackle from Sefa and was replaced by Bless Selassie Bakai in the 17th minute.

Asante Kotoko had one of the best chances of the game in the 25 minute when a ball was chipped into the box, Jordan headed the ball for his teammate but it was booted away from the penalty box.

Kotoko mounted pressure as the game went on but Hearts kept their composure and hit them on their counter-attack with Patrick Razak in full force.

Hearts of Oak got the fans on their feet with some quick and neat exchange of passes but were struggling to break the Kotoko defense.

Samudeen denied Burkinabe striker Yacouba a glorious opportunity with a superb block, however, the rebound from Yeboah was cleared by Addo.

Yacouba was once again presented with a big chance to put Kotoko ahead after a decent piece of skill from Yeboah put Sefa through who sent in a sumptuous cross but his connection was poor.

The deadlock was broken in the 39th minute by Songne Yacouba who had been in the thick of affairs of Kotoko impressive display.

After conceding the goal, Patrick Razak switched flanks from right to left side of Hearts' attack but the Amos Frimpong has kept him out of the game.

The fight half ended with tackles flying in at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Ernest Sowah was replaced by Ben Mensah in post for Hearts of Oak at the start of the second half. The Phobians nearly equalized in the 52nd minute with a fantastic piece of skill from Razak to put Dankyi through but his cut back for Addo was shot wide.

Robert Addo got his marching orders for a second booking in the 58 minute with Hearts playing the last 30minites of the game with a man less.

Two minutes later, Hearts nemesis Songe Yacouba run from the midfield to chip one over Ben Mensah after a super pass from Jordan Opoku.

Ben Mensah was brought down in the 66th minute by Senanu but the resulting kick was quickly blocked by Osei Kwame to prevent the Phobians from reducing the deficit.

Songne Yacouba nearly got his hattrick in the 74 minute but Agyare was there to block his shot. Kotoko was brimming with confidence after their 2-0 lead as their fullback combine for a third but skipper Frimpong shot wide.

Yacouba also threw away a big chance to get his third of the game with the goalkeeper Ben Mensah at his mercy as he shot wide.

Kotoko's numeric advantage was pretty obvious in the 83rd minute with Hearts struggling to match the pace of the Porcupine Warriors.

Hearts of Oak were pushing for a face-saving goal but the defence of Asante Kotoko looked resolute.

The return leg will be played at the same venue next week as Hearts will look to avenge their loss.