Accra Hearts of Oak climbed to third position on the Ghana Premier League (GPL) table courtesy a 2-0 authoritative win over Aduana Stars in their match day 18 game at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
After a series of near misses from the two sides, Hearts made their superiority count in the 27th minute when Victor Aidoo drove home fiercely from the spot after Patrick Razak was impeded in the goal area.
Aduana defender, Adams Hafiz, eased the pressure on the Phobians late in the second half when his mistimed clearance of a Patrick Razak cross beat goalkeeper Joseph Addo to crown a vintage show for the title-chasing Rainbow boys.
In the absence of their top two goalkeepers, Ben Mensah manned the post for the Phobians but came under no real threat as Aduana’s lone man upfront, Yahaya Mohammed, was eclipsed by Hearts’ central defensive pair, Mohammed Alhassan and Nuru Sulley; at least for the first half.
The game, after the blast of referee Andrews Awurisa’s whistle, remained a balanced one for the first 10 minutes until the Aduana midfielders – Sam Adam, Bright Adjei, Prince Acquah and Kingsley Brefo – assumed control and dictated the pace.
They were, however, outmuscled by the physically endowed Benjamin Afutu while Abdul Manaf and Frederick Ansah Botchway tried to put through the passes for Razak and Aidoo.
With his pace, Razak was always a problem for his markers.
In one of his surging runs, he raced past a marker but was obstructed by Nurudeen Abdulai with the referee pointing to the spot – kick was executed by Aidoo on his second time of asking, having seen his shot at goal saved by Addo few minutes earlier.
Aidoo went close to doubling the lead after miscommunication between Abdulai and Addo but the former recovered to clear the danger.
Samuel Bio came on for Kingsley Brefo in the 39th minute in Aduana’s first substitution to switch the pendulum in the visitors’ favour as he drove the team forward and created openings with breath-taking passes but they failed to finish them.
Aduana were even more aggressive in the second half with a strategy that saw them trouble the Hearts defence with long passes to Yahaya Mohammed who was given very little space to operate.
In the 66th minute, Yahaya missed with his tap-in to a decent cross from the right side after Hearts gave the ball away easily in midfield.
Bio remained the tormentor-in-chief as he engineered Aduana’s run in search of an equalizer but found no way past the Hearts rear men until a three-man move released Patrick Razak on the right side of attack to deliver a cross which Hafiz accidentally misfired into his own goal for Hearts second.
While the action remained stern on the field, police had a frenetic time with fans locked outside the stadium because the game was played behind closed doors.
Sources hinted the Times Sports that close to 10 fans that scaled the stadium wall were arrested and sent to the Ministries Police Station.
BY ANDREW NORTEY