A less-inspiring Accra Hearts of Oak side yesterday poured their frustrations on Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs and struggled to account for the hapless visitors with a 2-1 win in their fourth game of the NC Special Cup at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The home team’s approach initially appeared ‘homicidal’ as they roared off with gusto – hunting for the evasive goals.
And, it was understandable!
Hearts had suffered two consecutive away defeats – drooping to Elmina Sharks and Karela FC, and another bad result yesterday would have felt like a groundhog day for their fastidious fans.
Expectedly, the Phobians opened the floodgates as early as the first minute with a glorious Joseph Esso strike that deserved an Oscar.
Esso, the club’s heartbeat, latched on to a romantically penetrative long pass, shimmied past his markers and unleashed a thunderbolt that tore into the roof of the net.
The cheers from the sparse home contingent were almost ear-splitting.
The Phobians were goaded on by their fans and increased the advantage five minutes from the break as Esso again pounced on William Dankyi’s intriguing through-ball, dazzled around onrushing goalkeeper Danso Mensah to make it 2-0.
It appeared as if Dwarfs had plunged into a gun-fight with a knife.
But make no mistake. The ‘Abontua Abontua’ boys were in for battle, showing
real strength of character, refusing to crash to their third straight defeat in a campaign that had seen them concede eight goals ahead of yesterday’s nerve-jangling tie.
Indeed, they nearly pulled the redeemer in the 20th minute but were unlucky when Stephen Bentil saw his effort explode off the post, before being scooped out of danger by goalkeeper Richmond Ayi.
Substitute Bright Luqman eventually reduced the tally for Dwarfs in the 79th minute after heading from a dream corner – setting up a painful nervy finish for the home contingent as Esso squandered a contentious spot-kick – lamely shooting into the hands of the goalie.
Clearly, it was a powder-puffed, incoherent Hearts performance and Coach Kim Grant may have been left with many questions than answers – as fans filed away in despondency.
BY JOHN VIGAH