FOLLOWERS of Wonder Club Accra Great Olympics yesterday romped into endless joy as they celebrated a hard-fought 2-0 victory over a stubborn WAFA side in their First Capital Plus Premier League (FCPPL) at the Accra Sports Stadium.
That victory, crucial as it was, elevated Oly to 12th position on the log and gave them a huge boost to avert the ‘elite’ drop. And, as they face relegation-threatened Kpando Heart of Lions (14th position) in Kpando on September 6, they know their destiny is in their own hands.
Knowing that their survival in the top-flight somehow depended on the outcome of yesterday’s tensed afternoon, Oly worked with ruthless intensity, especially in the second session, subjecting the WAFA area to intermittent raids and creating some decent gilt-edged opportunities in the process.
After an initial tardy start from the two combatants, Oly earned the first free-kick on the edge in the fifth minute but ‘golden boy’ Godwin Attram aberrantly shot into the skies to the surprise of the small vociferous home crowd.
In their brief moments of dominance, WAFA’s central pair of Kennedy Boateng and Abukari Ibrahim snuffed out Oly’s threat and initiated an attack of their own as they connected well with a midfield that looked spiky and supple – especially when chasing the game.
However, the home team never appeared flustered by the WAFA style. Rather, they looked determined to break down the visitors with power, speed and aggressive play.
Oly could have broken the deadlock just after the half-hour mark when Attram smothered off a flailing challenge to set up Kwame Boateng, but the latter messed up. A minute later, Boateng was again served with a delicious ball in the box by the same player but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Felix Annan.
It was certainly not Oly’s half and they knew they had to work their fingers to the bone after recess. That was exactly what Attram did. Just five minutes into the half, Attram set the stadium ablaze with another spectacular right-footed free-kick that exploded into the net for the first goal, leaving goalkeeper Annan in complete trance.
WAFA reacted sharply with a ponderous onslaught but Oly’s backline of Ofoe Ofotsu, Emmanuel Amartey and, Joshua Oniku – who played a great game but took an early shower for double cautions – remained resolute.
The visitors had their brightest chance to cancel the deficit in the 73rd minute but skipper Martin Antwi’s free-header to Samuel Tetteh’s incisive cross from the left, sailed agonizingly wide.
Two minutes later, Oly was presented with a penalty after Boateng was hauled down in the box. That decision attracted a fuming bunch of disorderly WAFA players protesting vehemently at the dead-ball. When sanity was restored after three minutes, Attram surprised the stadium by shooting the opportunity into orbit to the relief of the visitors.
Perhaps, the captain wanted to score a goal that would have no sketch of controversy. Just four minutes after wasting that opportunity, he got that goal of supreme quality. Attram pounced onto a pass in the area and with an amazing display of footwork and finesse rounded off the WAFA defence before poking to the far left of the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
WAFA’s desire to stage a fight-back was blighted by the red-card of impressive but unruly Caleb Amakwah after his brutal touch-line challenge on hard-working midfielder Benjamin Arthur. Moments later, it was the turn of Oly’s Oniku to be shown the marching-off orders.
By John Vigah