Asante Kotoko stutter to newly promoted side in 0-0 draw

asante kotoko 0-0 Heart of Lions
Credit @AsanteKotoko_SC Twitter

Asante Kotoko hosted Heart of Lions in a week one tie of the Betpawa Ghana Premier League game, hoping to start the season on a sound footing.

The two-time CAF Champions League winners finished last season in fourth place, eight points behind league winners Medeama SC.

The tie against the newly promoted Heart of Lions was supposed to be an easy game, but it was anything but cheap three points to pick.

Their opponents showed the heart of a Lion to deny their hosts a win, as they secured a 0-0 draw.

Asante Kotoko failed to score in an intense first half.

asante kotoko draw with heart of lions
Credit @AsanteKotoko_SC Twitter

The visitors started the game with six debutants against the two-time CAF Champions League winners.

Asante Kotoko started the game on the front foot, taking the game to Heart of Lions.

The hosts tested the Heart of Lions goalkeeper in the sixth minute after Somuah and Ziggy combined well. However, the eventual shot from Ziggy was well saved.

Somuah was at the heart of the early pressure from Asante Kotoko. He was creating combinations that caused problems for the visitors.

Heart of Lions tried to respond to the early pressure from the hosts in the 11th minute, but Prince Ofori was offside after running past the Asante Kotoko defenders.

In the 22nd minute, Ziggy met a solid delivery from Addo but saw his strike saved by the goalkeeper.

Heart of Lions did not get much joy from their opponents, who wanted to get a first-half lead.

They got a free kick close to the Asante Kotoko box, but Ansu hit his audacious effort wide off the mark.

Three minutes later, Heart of Lions were back on the trail, looking to upset their hosts, but Asare was alert and pulled off a crucial save to keep the scores level.

By the half-hour mark, the visitors had settled into the game and had shown Asante Kotoko reasons to be wary of them.

With the first half inching closer to the end, Asante Kotoko became desperate for the first goal.

Their desperation was evident as Kwabena Osae parried a goal-bound shot in the 36th minute to deny the hosts a goal.

The home side upped the ante with the half approaching its end. Tedeku attempted a shot from distance in the 43rd minute, but it did little to trouble Kwabena Osae.

With all the pressure from the home side, they could not break the deadlock even with three minutes added time and finished the first half 0-0.

Heart of Lions deny Asante Kotoko maximum points

asante kotoko vs heart of lions HOL warm up
Credit @HeartOfLionsFc Twitter

The second half started cautiously, with the Heart of Lion making the first substitution eight minutes after the restart.

The away side replaced Kwesi Pong with Sakabutu Dickson.

The first opportunity for a goal in the second half fell to Asante Kotoko in the 55th minute, but the goalkeeper parried the ball for a corner kick.

The home side made their first change in the 57th minute, with Somuah coming off for Quattara.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure.

In the 62nd minute, Mfegue met a cross from Addo with a header, but it lacked power and direction.

Asare was called to duty two minutes later but was up to the task.

The tempo of the game was high. The visitors thought they had gotten the lead in the 65th minute, but the referee disallowed the goal for offside.

A minute after the scare, Asante Kotoko removed Addo for Zeze.

With 20 minutes of the game left, the visitors made a double substitution.  

Akwesi Bentle Duah and Dennis Hutor replaced Christian Agyenin Boateng and Yaw Danso.

Asante Kotoko responded to that change by introducing Fuseini and Kyei for Agyapong and Baba Yahaya.

The Lions continued to respond well to the pressure from the home side. Every threat by the Porcupines was dealt with properly.

To shore up their position, the Lions made another substitution. Samuel Koshie Agbenyegah replaced Mustapha Yakubu.

The newly promoted Heart of Lions displayed the heart of Lions. They continued to frustrate the efforts of their more illustrious opponents.

As the game wore to a close, the hosts piled on the pressure on their opponents, hoping for a break, but the defensive resilience of the away denied them any goal.

Despite eight minutes of added time, Asante Kotoko could not find a breakthrough and had to share the spoils with the newly promoted side.

Line ups

Asante Kotoko

Frederick Asare (GK), Augustine Agyapong, John Tedeku, Henry Kwame Ansu, Yusif Mohammed Nurudeen, Sherif Mohammed, Bernard Somuah, Shadrack Addo, Julius Ziggy Ofori, George Mfegue, Michael Dwamena


Serge Eric Zeze, Danlad Ibrahim, Kalo Quattara, Issahak Fuseini, Yahaya Baba, Dawuni Yahaya, Andrews Ntim Manu, Acquah Peter Amidu

Heart of Lions

Kwabena Osae (GK), Ruben Hennessy, Ebenezer Abban, Bismarck Anim, Prince Ofori, Fawzi Ali, Mohaison Mahmoud, Yaw Danso, Pong Kwesi, Mustapha Yakubu, Christian Boateng


Samuel Koshie Agbenyegah, Phillip Kekyi, Nana Kwame Oppong, Dickson Sakabutu, Denis Hutor, Akwasi Bentil Duah, Benson Kofi Yeboah, Emmanuel Ofori Sakyi, Vincent Anane


This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago

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