Accra Hearts of Oak has chalked many august victories over Kotoko in the league since 1958. AccraHeartsofOak.com looks back at the top two Phobia victories over Kotoko in the Premier League (1993- ) era at home (Accra Sports Stadium).

Hearts player Bernard Dong Bortey

Accra Hearts of Oak has chalked many august victories over Kotoko in the league since 1958. AccraHeartsofOak.com looks back at the top 3 Phobia victories over Kotoko in the Premier League (1993-) era at home(Accra Sports Stadium). 

In this three-part series, the number 2 on the ?Top 3 victories at home? list takes us back to 11 years ago. Hearts beat Kotoko 3-0 at home on the 21st July, 2002.

HEARTS 3 ? 0 KOTOKO (21ST July, 2002. Call it revenge or equity, you would not be wrong from elucidating what happened in Accra on the 21st July, 2002. Herbert Addo?s team was getting ready to become the best side to ever win the Professional League with a record of 78 points (P 30 W 25 D 3 L 2 F 72 A 18).

Hearts had won 14 consecutive games in the league, from match-day 1 to match-day 14. Herbert Addo?s side had kept 10 clean-sheets and conceded a paltry five goals; scored 34 goals from 14 games, an average of 2.4 goals per game.

An away trip in Kumasi awaited them against the sworn enemy, Kumasi Asante Kotoko; and they went, they saw, but they almost conquered. Bernard Dong Bortey once again put Hearts in the lead; the home team, Kotoko, had no riposte to the domineering Hearts force. Every single ball flouted into the box was met with appeals for a penalty. Incredulously, the Referee was cowered by the constant bellows for a spot kick and he succumbed. Joe Louis took a dive. No, a jump into a Hearts player in injury time. Guess what? Penalty! Godwin Ablordey, former Hearts player, dispatched the kick with ease to level the scores with no time to restart the action. Sad, sorry, appalled, disgruntled, and cheated the players felt that very afternoon in June.

A month later, the reds came into town and let the capital so dispirited and down.

Righting the wrongs of the previous month, Hearts of Oak had done justice for its multitude of fans. Charles Taylor had begun the spanking with a simple tap-in in the 35th minute of the game. The fans were still jubilating when BERNARD DONG BORTEY, whose apparent winning goal was unjustly cancelled out in Kumasi, created space for himself in the box; with his team-mates running-off into good position, the ?humble lion? toyed the ball back unto his right foot, on the left side of the Kotoko box, and triggered a swerving and booming shot that dipped into goal for the second of the game.

Two minutes later, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour had completed the scoring, just like he did in the 4-0 win, but this time, it was 3-0 for Hearts at half-time against Kotoko.

You might be forgiven for thinking it was 11 against 9, but it wasn?t. Hearts played like they had 22 men on the field. Every piece of grass was covered, every niche on the field dominated, and all the time, the game was played in one-half. Brilliant from back to front, majestic in midfield, and flamboyant in attack.

Legend has it that, at the break, people were begging for Hearts to show mercy. And mercy they showed, as they took their legs of the pedal and cruised through first gear till the end of the last 45 minutes.

If you say ?It was sweet revenge,? you are not wrong. But if you say ?it was justice!? We couldn?t agree more.

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Accra Hearts of Oak has chalked many august victories over Kotoko in the league since 1958. AccraHeartsofOak.com looks back at the top two Phobia victories over Kotoko in the Premier League (1993- ) era at home (Accra Sports Stadium). 

In this three-part series, the number 3 on the ?Top 3 victories at home?,list takes us back to 8 years ago. Hearts beat Kotoko 1-0 at home on the 3rd April, 2005 courtesy a Bernard Dong Bortey ?banana&quo? free-kick. HEARTS 1 ? KOTOKO 0 (3rd April, 2005). During the 2004/5 league season, the Football Association introduced a Special Zonal League for the 16 Clubs participating in the league. It was only the second time a special league was being played in the country after a not so dissimilar competition was organized in the 1977 season.

The 16 teams were divided into two, with 8 teams in Zone A and the other 8 in Zone B.

In Zone A (Northern Sector) were Kumasi Asante Kotoko, King Faisal, Real Tamale United, Ashantigold, Berekum Arsenals, Brong Ahafo United, Bofoakwa, and Okwahu United.

Hearts were in Zone B together with Great Olympics, Liberty Professionals, Power FC, Sekondi Hasacas, Kpando Heart of Lions, Real Sportive and Gomoah Fetteh Feyenoord.

Two months prior to this game, Hearts had won the maiden Confederation Cup in the home of Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

As destiny will have it, Glorious Accra Hearts of Oak won the Southern Sector league (P 13 W 9 D 2 L2 F29 A14 PTS 29) and Asante Kotoko won the Northern Sector League (P 13 W 9 D 2 L 2 F 23 A 8 Pts 29).

A one-off game was scheduled by the Football Association to determine the champion-of-champions.

The Champion Club Accra Hearts of Oak hosted their rivals at the Accra Sports Stadium in front of a 40,000 capacity-filled Accra Sports Stadium on the 3rd April, 2005.

The connoisseurs of the beautiful game went rhetorical: Repeat or Revenge?

Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, fresh from masterminding the famous Confederation conquest in Kumasi, had five of the players who started in the continental triumph in Kumasi.
The experienced and long-serving Eben ?Dida? Armah manned the goal post. Hassan Mohammd and Kwabena Boafo outflanked Kwabena Boafo and Daniel Coleman in defense. Lawrence Adjah Tetteh and Eric Nyarko were the hub in midfield whilst J. Boateng and Dong Bortey played on the wings. ?Prince of goals? ? Tagoe and Alfred Nii Larbi were the striking pair.

Goalless at first half it ended, just like in the Confederation Cup, but there?s no need for penalties as the man who played his heart out for Hearts rose to the occasion with less than 15 minutes to the end of proceedings.

Bernard Dong Bortey whose performance in the finals of the Confederation was subdued would not countenance another below-par performance.

When in the second half of the game he stood close to the edge of the box for a free-kick, the fans could tell that was the moment, even the opponents understood the air of inevitability, and Bortey duly oblige with a sublime yet perfunctory free-kick that did not only find the net but, literally, brought down the roof at the Accra Sports Stadium. Cecil Jones and his boys had made history again, and Dong Bortey?s solo goal had won us our 18th league title.

The GFA had sent out a request to their Togolese counter-parts for a FIFA-licensed Referee and our neighbours granted the request by sending Referee Kokou Djaoupe, who had a good game though he sent off Hearts? Dan Oppong in the final minutes of the game, to officiate in the Champion-of-champion showdown.

It?s classic Hearts once again. It?s heartbreak for Kotoko, again. 2005 was the year Hearts of Oak made sure that every single fan under the Oaktree anywhere in the world could smile. Well, we are still smiling to this day.

HEARTS XI: Eben Armah; Michael Donkor (Dan Oppong), Hassan Mohammed, Kwabena Boafo, Dan Coleman; J. Boateng (Francis Bossman), Bernard Don Bortey, Lawrence Adjah Tetteh, Eric Nyarko (Adnan Ali); Prince Tagoe, Alfred Nii Larbi.
Head-coach: SIR CECIL JONES ATTUQUAYEFIO

Source : Accra Hearts of Oak

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