Mukwala’s Brace secures victory for Asante Kotoko over Hearts of Oak

Mukwala's Brace secures victory for Asante Kotoko over Hearts of Oak

Two goals from Steve Dese Mukwala was all needed to complete the double over their arch rivals, at the in a match week 31 encounter of the .

The Ugandan forward scored a brace in the reverse encounter earlier this season at the same venue in a five-goal thriller which ended 3-2 in favour of the Porcupines.

The defeat leaves the Phobians in a precarious position on the league table with only two points above the relegation zone.

Poor finishing was the bane of the once dominant team on the local scene who gave a good account of themselves but failed to do the needful.

The opening five minutes was characterised by slow build ups from both sides with Asante Kotoko slightly dominating possession.

The Porcupines made their dominance count just nine minutes into the match when they broke the deadlock through Mukwala.

The stroker received a long ball from the right side of attack, took on two defenders before  placing the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper, Kwesi Nketia for the opener.

With their noses in front, Asante Kotoko launched another swift attack which saw Mukwala dashing into the box for a defence-splitting pass, but he was crowded by the defence of Hearts who brought him down in the process.

An appeal for a penalty by the Kotoko players was however brushed aside by Referee Rustum Sernogbe who was very close to the action.

Hearts of Oak after that incident stepped up their performance and for the next five minutes dictate the pace of the game but failed to pull parity despite coming close twice.

As they pushed for the equaliser, Kotoko capitalised on spaces left behind with Mukwala being their target man upfront.

The last ten minutes saw both teams attacking each other for the next goal which never came until the referee ended the half with Kotoko's slender lead intact.

Conscious of their goal deficit, resumed the second half firing from all angles, but failed to find the back of the net.

After five minutes of sustained pressure from the visitors, Asante Kotoko warmed themselves into the game and almost doubled their lead when Eric Zeze unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards, missing target by inches.

Coach Aboubakar Ouattara in his quest to strengthen his attack, pulled out Issah Kuka for Kassim Cissey just 12 minutes into the half.

The visitors took control of the game following that substitution, did everything right in their build ups but short of quality delivery in the final third.

They would pay dearly for their profligacy in front of goal when Mukwala scored his second on the afternoon in stoppage time to secure all three points for the Porcupines.

The slippery striker dashed into the box after breaking away on the left flank, outwitted his marker before letting go a ferocious strike to put the icing on the cake.

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