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Kotoko see Hearts off to set up final date with Karela United.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko beat Accra Hearts of Oak 5-4 on penalties to make it to the final of the normalisation committee special competition.

It was the clash of titans, the 2 biggest clubs in Ghana faced off for the semi final 1 of the Normalisation Competition Special Competition Tier 1.

The build up to the game was characterised with some level of uncertainty as Kotoko pulled out initially from the competition, before making a U-turn and rescinding the decision. However, about a week to the game,everything was set and clear and we had a tie to look forward to.

Kotoko set up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation but this time had captain Amos Frimpong in midfield. They were without star man Sogne Yacouba and Richard Senanu ,who is out on a long term injury.

Hearts of Oak were also in their usual 4-2-3-1 with Umar manaf in the hole behind Joseph Esso. Defender Mohammed Alhassan , having mised out on making the final 23 man AFCON squad, also came back into the side.

The game started on the poorest of note for him as He and his defence failed to deal with a lose ball and allowed Fatawu Safiu -another player who missed out on the flight to Egypt- , to creep in and slot home to put Kotoko ahead.

That goal seemed to have disoriented and disorganised the phobians as they struggled to get back into the game. Kotoko enjoyed possession for the first 15 minutes but slowly, Hearts came back into it.

The phobians soon had a hold of the game but were limited to very few sights on goal.

Soon, frustration started to creep in as Umar Manaf was a culprit on ine occassion and had a yellow card for lashing out at Fatawu. Kotoko held on and took the lead into the interval.

Hearts continued from where they stopped and were starting to make in roads. The introduction of Kofi Kordzi as a second striker allowed Hearts to go route 1 and play off the big target man.

However, Kotoko’s resolve of Wahab Adams and Ganiyu were resilient and dealt with majority of all that came his way.

The breakthrough for Hearts finally came in the 92nd minute where they were awarded a penalty after a handball in the area.

The ever reliable Christopher Bonney stepped up and slotted home to tie the game. It was down to a penalty shoot-out now.

Both teams slotted home their first 4 penalties with perfection. The defining moment came when Mohammed Alhassan stepped up and hit the post. It all came down to Amos Frimpong and the Kotoko captain made no mistake.

Kotoko are through to the final with only Karela standing between them and a possible CAF champions league spot.

Elsewhere, Karela themselves defeated Ashgold 1-0 at the Len Clay stadium to set up the June 30 encounter with Kotoko.

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Written by Eli Avot

Eli is a determined young man driven by his will to succeed and his passion for sports. Writer, presenter, pundit.

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