Fabio Gama dos Santos and Etouga Mbella Frank combined to give Ghana Premier league leaders Asante Kotoko a vital home victory over our bitterest rival Hearts of oak at the Babayara sports stadium on Sunday afternoon dominating from start to finish to boost our quest for 2021/2022 league title with our first-ever league win over the Phobians in the last 10 years 

Mbella scored from the spot to give us the deserving lead after Gama was brought down in the penalty box by the visitor’s midfielder Nurudeen Abdul Aziz 

This win, coupled with defeat for Aduana stars elsewhere today, means the title chase is now between Bechem United and us following the hunters last-minute goal to break the hearts of resilient Goldstars in Bechem. 

Two changes were made from the away win over King Faisal, Justice Blay who was instrumental last week was out with an injury, Maxwell Agyemang was drafted in to partner Yussif Mubarik, while Mudasiru Salifu started from the bench in his place, Samuel Boateng was crafted in to give a more attacking bite. 

What a start!

An early goal was just what the doctor ordered to settle any lingering anxiety following the last season’s loss, first-leg draw, and defeat in the president cup, and it almost came earlier than it did when with just two minutes on the clock, Imoro hits the post. With our next attack which followed quickly, Mbella hit the ball which was blazed over disappointingly.

The moment came in the 17th minute when a long pass from Maxwell Agyemang find Mfegue who turned his marker to pick Gama who has moved past his marker into the penalty area, the Brazilian knowing the position of Nurudeen dummied the ball back after failing to hit the cross, doing so, Nurudeen had his hand at the back of our playmaker, even when our number 10 wanted to go and get the ball, Nurudeen stretched his hand to pull the head of Gama, at that point he lost his balance and fell, referee Kenny Padi who was right at the scene pointed to the spot, with Mbella making no mistake from the twelve yards to put the score at 1-0. 

After limiting them to zero shots on target in the first 45 minutes, we created decent chances to kill the game off but wasted them. 

We started the second half just like we ended the first, creating chances upon chances but failed to take any of them 

The visitors threw all their six attackers but our resilient backline limited them to zero shots on target

The referee after adding 5 additional minutes ended the game with Kotoko carrying the day to consolidate our position on the league log 

With 10 matches to go and 8 points clear at the top of the table, our fans can smell the league title and it will be the first time since 2014. 

Home dominance 

We are currently on 10 games unbeaten run at home, scoring in all home games this season 

14 of Mbella’s 16 goals have come at home. The Cameroonian has scored against all the Accra-based teams. 

2 goals against Legon cities 

2 goals against Great Olympics 

3 goals against Accra Lions

1 goal against Hearts of oak 

What’s next?

The squad will travel to Tamale on Saturday ahead of our attempt to get another three points on the road. The match is on Sunday with a 3 pm kick-off. 

Asante Kotoko (4:3:3) Danlad; Agyemang, (Madusiru 49) Mubarik, Imoro, Nettey, Sheriff, Boadu, Gama (Keyekeh 82) Mfegue, Boateng (Asmah) Mbella 

Unused subs: Baah, Adjapong, Amankona, Adomako, Afoakwa, Owusu