FRANCIS Akwaffo fetched the first hat trick in the Glo Top 4 tournament as Asante Kotoko ran riot over Kpando Heart of Lions yesterday to stay just one point adrift of leaders Liberty Professionals.
Determined to stage a strong claim for the cup, Kotoko appeared better psyched up for the game, putting much pressure on their opponents to win the game 3-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Lions had the first opportunity to open the score but when unchallenged from five yards, Osei Morrison blasted the ball away. It was a wake-up call for the home side who launched ferocious attacks in the Lions' area.
Accra based-referee Thomas Nunoo judged Akwaffo to have been fouled in the box in the 15th minute and awarded a penalty to Kotoko.
Lions protested but the referee stuck to his guns and Akwaffo stepped forward to beat keeper Mozart Adjetey.
For a brief moment, the Kotoko defence appeared jittery but Lions failed to capitalise on the situation.
As both sides made substitutions, Kotoko applied the accelerator and were deservedly awarded another penalty in the 53rd minute after Akwaffo was brought down in the box. Once again the player scored from the spot.
Three minutes into added time, Kwabena Yaro cut into the Lions defence and located advancing Akwaffo who wasted no time in rifling the ball past Adjetey.
Stephen Oduro was adjudged the Glo best player for the match.