Coach Kenichi Yatsuhasi for Hearts of Oak named a strong line up that had Burkina international goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye in post with Ivorian skipper Robin Gnagne in defence.
Despite the heavy build up and form from the home side it was Asante Kotoko who had a strong start to the game and nearly scored though Dauda Mohammed’s shot but his effort was well saved by Soulama Abdoulaye.
Kotoko continued their strong start with another strong ball from Obed Owusu who was clearly up for the game but his effort missed the post narrowly.
Hearts of Oak responded with their own chance after ten minutes through Isaac Mensah and though his effort was on target it lacked the power to beat Ernest Sowah who has clearly revived his career at Asante Kotoko.
That effort brought alive the game with end to end stuff from both team but on the 27th minute Sam Yeboah rose highest to meet a an Isaac Mensah set piece but his effort cannoned off the post to the relieve of the Asante Kotoko fans.
The next action saw Edwin Tuffour who was playing at left back for Kotoko being sent off for two avoidable fouls on Isaac Mensah.
With the half heading for a stalemate goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye scoffed off a Richard Atinga back pass to put Asante Kotoko 1-0 up.
The goal was the difference in the first half and Asante Kotoko certainly begun the second half with purpose but Ernest Sowah pulled off two smart saves from Cosmos Dauda and Isaac Mensah to keep the Porcupines in the lead.
Soulama Abdoulaye saw his day go from bad to worse after he rushed out of his area to charge down Dauda Mohammed who had raced through on goal.
He was dully send off by referee Awal Mohammed meaning both sides where now reduced to ten men.
With both Kotoko and Hearts of Oak reduced to ten men Asante Kotoko reclaimed possession and dictated the tempo to the delight of their fans.
Hearts threw men forward in the last ten minutes of the game in search of an equalizer but tried as the they did a combination of masterful goalkeeping and resolute defending denied it.