Accra Hearts of Oak laboured to beat Bibiani GoldStars 1-0 in their Match day 29 fixture of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) at the Accra Sports Stadium, yesterday.
A 10th minute spot kick converted by Black Stars player Samuel Inkoom gave the Phobians all three points.
Hearts had appealed for a postponement of the game to allow their players to recover from ailment.
Coach Samuel Boadu relied on fringe players Willian Dankyi, Larry Sumaila and Enock Asubonteng to step in for the regular players but managed to secure the win under very difficult circumstances.
Hearts’ striker Benjamin Yorke received a trademark long range pass from Sulley Muntari but was brought down by GoldStars’ defender Farouk Adams in the goal area for the penalty which was converted by Inkoom.
The Phobians grew in confidence after the goal and tormented the defence of the visitors in an attempt to increase the tally but a 25th minute Muntari pass to Yorke was saved by GoldStars’ goalkeeper Yaw Ansah.
Hearts dominated until the 34th minute when Kwabena Owusu came close to fetching the equalizer but only found the side of the net.
Hearts went close to scoring another goal but Ansah saved from Afriyie Barnieh at close range in the 36th minute.
GoldStars resumed the second half the better side and threatened the goal area of Hearts in search of an equalizer.
That saw Emmanuel Appau, Prince OpokuAgyemang and Frank Amankwah torment the Hearts back line but Larry Sumaila and Mohammed Alhassan kept them in check.
OpokuAgyemang came close on two occasions, in the 46th and 49th minutes but goalkeeper Richard Attah pulled brilliant saves on both occasions.
Hearts struggled for most part of the second half as GoldStars kept on pressing for the equalizer but lacked the finishing power.
The Phobian’s nearly had the last laugh though, as Yorke benefitted from a swift counter attack and had only the goalkeeper to beat but his feeble strike was cleared on the goal line.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE