Accra-based heavyweights Hearts of Oak silenced bitterest rivals Kotoko in a keenly contested potential title decider at the Accra sports stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In-form forward Daniel Afriyie Barnieh scored the only goal that separated the two sides in Ghana’s version of the El Classico dubbed Super Clash.
Both sides came into the match day 31 fixture on high horses with both sides on a long-stretch unbeaten run as both teams were locked on 56 points at the summit of the league log.
The home side were quick off the mark announcing their intentions with two corner kicks within the first minute but both threats were carefully thwarted by the defense of Kotoko.
The Phobians continued with their siege at the Kotoko box with incessant attacks as they aimed for the opener with a half-hearted chance inside the Kotoko box checked before a swift counter attack ensued for the Porcupine Warriors with a dangerous run from Adomako down the right. But the move was stopped resulting in a corner kick which was wasted.
Kotoko had their first proper sniff at goal after 20 minutes when Patrick Asmah’s freekick towards the right top corner was dealt with by Richard Attah in post for the Phobians.
Two minutes after recess Kotoko goalie Kwame Baah saved the away side from conceding the opener with a good save to a striker’s close-range shot.
Hearts continued with their relentless pursuit of the game’s opener and Kotoko had Appau to thank when the defender was on hand to block a goal-bound shot to corner.
But shortly after that the Phobians punished their opponents when Afriyie Barnieh connected a shot from Ansah Botchway to break the virginity of the game after 66 minutes.
After the goal a resolute display from the defense of Hearts of Oak with Robert Addo Sowah and Fatawu Mohammed marshalling the backline as the Phobians hanged on to pick all three points.
The win for the Phobians puts daylight between themselves and their sworn rivals with 59 points at the apex of the Ghana Premier League table.