Hearts halt WAFA

Hearts striker, Sam Yeboah tries to beat Musah Nuhu  (left) in this scene  Photo Ebo Gorman

Hearts striker, Sam Yeboah tries to beat Musah Nuhu (left) in this scene Photo Ebo Gorman

Accra Hearts of Oak displayed championship credentials yesterday when they halted the unbeaten run of league leaders, WAFA, with a humbling 2-1 defeat in a Ghana Premier League (GPL) week 14 game at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The visitors had gone seven games without blemish ahead of yesterday’s game that recorded an encouraging crowd and had hoped to add the Phobians to their victims but that was not to be.

Hearts registered their intentions as early as the third minute when skipper Thomas Abbey out-jumped the defense of WAFA to head home a teasing free kick from kingpin, Winful Cobbinah who turned up again to fetch the second goal in the 63rd minute after WAFA goalkeeper, Razak Abalora fumbled with a harmless free kick.

WAFA staged a late rally that saw them reduce the tally in the 82nd minute with an Abukari Ibrahim header and forced the Phobians into defensive position as they chased the equaliser.

The win moves Hearts to third position and in pole position to face Liberty Professionals on Sunday at Dansoman.

On a day when much was expected from the league leaders, WAFA simply failed to live up to expectation as key men such as Gideon Waja, Ibrahim Abdulwahab and Justice Kwame Aaron failed to supply to danger man, Komlan Agbegnadan who struggled all afternoon against the lanky Hearts defense men.

Realising WAFA’s potential on the turf, Hearts adopted a physical approach on the game and that worked to perfection as the referee also helped their course by keeping the cards in his pocket.

With hardcore defenders like Vincent Atinga, Leonard Tawiah, Thomas Abbey and Richard Akrofi lined up at the back; all the crosses to the Hearts area were dealt with, rendering the WAFA forwards ineffective.

Despite having the better part of the exchanges, WAFA failed to create any decent chance worthy of note except the late move they scored from.

It was Hearts that created chances but failed to convert them.

The opener came from their second incursion into the WAFA area after a controversial freekick was awarded to Hearts when Kwame Kizito was adjudged to have been fouled by his WAFA marker.

Cobbinah delivered an inch-perfect kick that Abbey soared to head home with goalkeeper Razak Abalora clearly beaten.

WAFA responded well by controlling the game and pinned the hosts to their end of the field, earning three consecutive corner kicks in less than two minutes but failed to let them count.

The visitors earned another corner kick in the 13th minute when Komlan scampered down the left side of the Hearts area but again found it difficult to break the Hearts rear.

Patrick Razak came close to increasing the tally in the 17th and 24th minutes when he weaved through the WAFA defense but the chance was cleared in the first instance and fired the second straight into the goalkeeper.

Hearts had the better part of the exchanges in the first 10 minutes of the second half but Kizito and Patrick fluffed the few opportunities that came their way.

But just when it appeared the pendulum had switched to WAFA, they were stunned by an unpardonable error by goalkeeper Abalora who allowed a Cobbinah freekick flip through his hands into the post without any challenge.

It was a big letdown which they managed to recover from and fought back gamely with their efforts being crowned with two minutes of playing time left as Abukari Ibrahim headed home from a melee resulting from a series of corner kicks.

They then kept the Hearts area boiling chasing the equaliser with a number of forays but Hearts frustrated them with their time wasting tactics, the height of which Hearts goalkeeper, Sam Akurugu went down unchallenged with a section of the fans applauding the act which is touted a trademark for the visitors.

By Andrew Nortey

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