Attacker Patrick Razak climbed off the bench to snatch the match-winner for Hearts of Oak as the Phobians defeated the Porcupine Warriors 2-1 to lift the 2022 President’s Cup in Accra on Friday evening.
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh hit the opening goal for the Rainbow Club but, Samuel Boateng climbed off the substitute bench to level matters up for the Porcupine Warriors.
It was another substitute who decided the fate of the game as Patrick Razak employed his blistering pace to break the Kotoko defensive line before rounding up the goalkeeper to slot home the winner.
The victory means the reigning Ghana Premier League champions have scooped the first available trophy.
Isaac Mensah saw his goal-bound striker from 20 yards tipped by Danlad Ibrahim and further deflected off-course by the crossbar.
Prior to that, Cameroonian forward Franck Etouga Mbella had come close with Kotoko’s biggest moment of the game when he twisted and turned his marker inside the area but couldn’t beat Richard Attah.
Sulley Muntari threw stadium-wide applauds when he nearly scored from a free-kick on the 40th-minute mark. The ex-Inter Milan midfielder attempted an audacious effort from 25 yards but his effort was palmed to a corner by Danlad.
Muntari was the first to present Samuel Boadu’s men their first big chance of the second stanza when his attempted shot was collected by the Porcupine Warriors’ goalkeeper.
Five minutes after the break, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh scored the opening goal for the Phobians when he drilled a powerful low ball past Danlad Ibrahim.
Hearts’ game in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half was engineered by Muntari as he had a free-kick and a corner both saved by Danlad.
Richmond Lamptey was withdrawn around the hour mark with Richard Boadu taking his place to introduce more energy and power to the middle.
Boadu’s first notable involvement was a foul he committed against Obeng Junior around the Kotoko area.
Substitute Samuel Boateng fired the equaliser just moments after he was introduced by Prosper Narteh. The attacker stole the ball from Robert Addo and fired a shot which deflected off Mohammed Alhassan and beat Attah in the Hearts goal.
Muntari, Salim Adams, and Isaac Mensah were withdrawn for Patrick Razak, Gladson Awako, and Suraj Mohammed respectively with 8 minutes left to play.
And, Razak struck the match-winner for the Phobians when he outpaced two Kotoko defenders in an explosive counter-attacking move to round up Danlad and slot into the empty net for the decider.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @AkyerekoWriter