HEARTS 1-2 KOTOKO: 4 Things We Learned As Asante Kotoko Extinguishes Hearts’ Fire Featured
27 Jan

HEARTS 1-2 KOTOKO: 4 Things We Learned As Asante Kotoko Extinguishes Hearts’ Fire

Asante Kotoko SC moved five points clear of their rivals Hearts of Oak in the league table courtesy of a 2-1 victory over the Phobians at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Midfield enforcer Justice Blay put the visitors ahead in the first half, but the hosts were back in the match after Joseph Esso pulled parity after the interval.
The hosts could not find the second and conceded the second goal through Naby Keita in the dying embers of the game via the spot.
Below are four things we learned from the clash in Accra.
Maxwell Konadu has the alchemist’s touch
The Kotoko gaffer has worked wonders since replacing Kjetil Zachariassen. He has presided over a renaissance at the club and has breathed life into a dying club- proving his managerial worth.
His second half introduction teenage prodigy Matthew Anim-Cudjoe was a masterclass as the young lad changed the tempo of the game to Kotoko’s favour.
Shape out of possession the biggest difference
While the hosts were caught on the break time and again, chasing a game that was racing away from them in the early stages, Kotoko’s shape out of possession was mightily impressive under the circumstances.
The Kotoko midfielders showed positional awareness that their defenders were rarely overloaded compared to their counterparts. Justice Blay deserves a real credit for performing a job that has been his hallmark since his arrival at the club.
The midfielder was able to showcase what he does best, with some  fine moments of individual skill and a strong finish to put the Porcupine Warriors out of reach ahead of the break, but it was willingness to keep to keep to a rigid position when Hearts did attack and that was critical for the visitor’s dominance.
Malaise around the Kotoko still hasn’t cleared
In their last ten meetings at the Accra Spofrts stadium, the Phobians have won 2, lost 5 with 3 drawn games. Ahead of this fixture, the expectation was very high that the Phobians were going to break that jinx albeit a difficult contest.
With another defeat doled out to them, Odoom and his charges have flattered to deceive because they failed again. No one really knows what has been the successive teams bane given the rich vein of talent they’ve always assembled.
It is a worrying trend and Hearts fans can only dream of their beloved club winning beating Asante Kotoko SC at the Accra Sports stadium at least for now.
Edward Odoom is yet to find the right system for Hearts and he must do so quickly
When Odoom took the Hearts job, the fans felt they finally had the man to organise the immense quality that bleeds throughout the squad.
Things have not worked out that way. As of yet, the formula to gel the quality in this squad into a world class team has eluded him. He certainly has refreshed this Hearts side and added a much-needed injection of youthful vibrancy but there’s still a lot to done to be among the best in the league.
Kofi Kordzi’s final ball was often disappointing but he caught the eye with some neat touches and dribbles, which is more than can be said for most of his teammates.
There was no spark in Hearts’ attack especially in the first half, and the frustration of a defeat felt inevitable.
Edward Odoom has a lot to do get his team back in contention.
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