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The Mukwala Show: Ugandan firepower bags brace as Kotoko defeat Hearts in Super Clash[+VIDEO]

Ugandan striker Steven Dese Mukwala produced exceptional quality for Asante Kotoko, bagging a brace in the Ghana Premier League match-week 31 fixture against rivals Hearts of Oak.

The Super Clash at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon was for the forward who had already assured the Porcupines of his readiness to light up the encounter.

And Mukwala delivered! With extraordinary composure for the opener in the first half and blistering speed for his second in the closing moments of the game as Kotoko jubilated with the 2-0 victory.

The game

For the Hearts of Oak defence, crumbling and shaking in a big game like the Super Clash raised doubts in the minds of their fans and perhaps, their gaffer Abubakar Ouattara.

Nothing worked! Kofi Agbesimah and Thomas Winimi endured a torrid game with Mukwala leading the lines and backed by the daring runs of Peter Hamidu Acquah and the long balls from the Kotoko midfield.

After conceding in the 11th minute of the game, the Phobian worked their hearts off to find the leveller but Issah Kukah, Hamza Issah and Salifu Ibrahim were simply off colour against the Kotoko defence.

It was telling! The Rainbow lads struggled for clear openings and pin-point final third passes after the hosts had broken the deadlock.

The second half

Kotoko dragged the game to half time and were resolute even after the break. Justice Blay, Nurudeen Abdulai and defensive midfielder Andrews Ntim Manu leading the charge at the back.

The substitutions made by Hearts gaffer Ouattara – Salim Adams, Kasim Cisse, and Amankwah Baafi for Kukah, Salifu and Linda Mtange improved the play in midfield but upfront, they met an organized Reds defence.

Under pressure to restore parity, Martin Karikari and Kashala Wanet entered the frame to improve their attacking moves and Kotoko coach Dr. Narteh Ogum responded with speed in attack by taking off Eric Zeze for Bernard Somuah.

Not surprising. Hearts were eager to restore their lead and pushed bodies forward. And in most instances, you needed a winger to spread their backline for more spaces and the gaffer executed his plan.

However he tightened the midfield by placing central midfielder Micheal Kyei Dwamena for Baba, leaving Mukwala, the fresh legs, Somuah and Hamidu to deal with the attacking duties.

And it resulted in the second goal. Morrison’s pass found Somuah who located Mukwala on the left and alone in the Hearts half.

The Ugandan attacker sped off, beat his marker and fired past Kofi Nketiah in goal for the Phobians.

A brace for Kotoko’s star man; 11th minute and in the 94th minute of additional time. His 14th goal of the league campaign as well.

League standings and next games

The win is Asante Kotoko’s 12th win of the campaign and their 8th at home. In match-week 32, they welcome Great Olympics.

On the other hand, Hearts of Oak their 11th loss of the season, their seventh defeat in the last in their last nine games, winning the other two.

Now 15th in the league standings, the Phobians will need a win against Nations FC to steer away from relegation.

Kotoko now hold the 9th spot on the log.

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