Excitement galore - Mahatma Otoo wins 2013 Prez Cup for Hearts in Accra

Mahatma Otoo Double Wins Hearts Of Oak 2013 Ghana President Cup      

By Akyereko Frimpong Manson

At the Accra Sports Stadium

Striker Mahatma Otoo underlined his superiority as the finest on the Ghanaian local scene by scoring a brace to help Accra Hearts of Oak lift the 2013 Ghana President Cup on Monday evening in Accra. 

The 21-year-old raced the Phobians into the lead just two minutes into the game with a thunderous free-kick from the edge of the box before nailing the victory with a Neymar-style finish at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Ivorian Robin Gnagne crashed a second-half penalty kick into the crossbar after the dexterous Oleenu Ashitey was brought down inside the box.

The 2000 African champions reached the final after eliminating DR Congo giants TP Mazembe on shootouts at the same venue with Medeama also beating Nigerian side Enugu Rangers on Friday.

Hearts of Oak coach David Duncan made just a single change to his starting line-up that won against Mazembe by bringing in Oleenu Ashitey to take the place of Thomas Abbey.

Abdul Aziz Abankwah and Robin Gnagne were maintained in central defence with Owusu Bempah and Emmanuel Ansong completing the back four.

Thomas Abbey, Moro Abubakar, Stephen Tetteh and Oleenu Ashitey were in midfield while Winful Cobbinah and Mahatma Otoo played upfront.

Evans Adotey stuck to his starters against Enugu maintaining Godbless Asamoah, Victor Ayire and Kabiru Mohammed in the line-up.

Hearts? desire for victory was not just to ensure they do not end the season trophiless but their mishaps against the Tarkwa-based side this season.

Medeama had beaten the 19-time Ghanaian title winners 2 times this seasons ? eliminating from the Ghanaian FA Cup final.

Hearts? intentions to dominate were clear from the onset ? they stretched six passes together to highlight telepathy before testing Joseph Ham with a long-range effort.

Medeama tried to challenge Hearts for the balls in the middle but they did not have enough time to stage their challenge before Mahatma Otoo scored the opening goal from an indirect free-kick.

The artistic Winful Cobbinah picked a pass from Stephen Tetteh in the midfield and tailored a long searching pass for Otoo.

Defender Henry Entsir stampeded into Otoo?s way to allow Joseph Ham to cover but the shot-stopper was rushing and grabbed the ball outside of his territory.

An indirect free-kick was award.

Cobbinah flicked the ball for Otoo who hammered a powerful low drive past Ham to register his 23rd goal of the season for Hearts.

Hearts pressed, huffed and puffed, failing to lift their feet off the pedal. It was a moment of dedication and commitment from an entertaining young side.

While Hearts were excelling in the middle, Abdul Aziz and Gnagne had stamped their authority in defence marking out Kabiru Moro and Godbless Asamoah.

Oleenu Ashitey?s thrilling antics and exciting movements were causing more problems for the Medeama backline as they failed to clip his wings.

The 19-year-old made useless of two Medeama defenders and left a pass for Cobbinah but the inexperienced forward swerved his markers inside the box but his over hesitation allow a Medeama defender to slide the ball to corner.

Hearts kept the tempo and the second goal was to arrive sooner than later.

Ivorian center-back Robin Gnagne skipped a crucial tackle from Victor Ayire and closed to the box before leaving a pass for Otoo but his shot went just wide.

Another such move from the right fetched the second goal.

Cobbinah linked up well with Oleenu who returned a pass to Bempah. The former New Edubiase versatile player laid a pass for Otoo to fire into the roof of the net for the second and his 24th of the season.

Medeama came close on a couple of occasions but they failed to utilise them.

Hearts could have scored their third goal of the evening after Oleenu won a penalty kick but Gnagne shot into the goal post.

The wing-wizard, dropped by Ghana U20 coach Sellas Tetteh, dribbled two Medeama defenders and kept his strength and composure to enter into the box before he was tripped by Ayire.

Otoo left the ball for Gnagne but the former Red Bull Academy graduate fired into the crossbar.


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