Accra Hearts of Oak edged past Algerian opponent, JS Saoura 2-0 in their first-leg clash of the CAF Confederations Cup match at the Accra Sports Stadium, yesterday.
Goals in each half from Salifu Ibrahim in the 16th minute and substitute Agyenim Boateng in the 73rd minute gave the Phobians a huge boost ahead of the return encounter a week later.
Hearts started the game on a very aggressive note and threatened as early as the sixth minute but Kofi Kordzi blasted wide a rebound from Salifu Ibrahim’s kick.
In the 16th minute, Daniel Barnieh latched on a pass from Frederick Ansah Botchway to send in a teasing cross from the left-wing which was met by midfielder Salifu Ibrahim with a diving header to give Hearts the lead.
The Algerians abandoned their defensive play and threw more men forward.
That created a few problems for Hearts as Mohammed Amine Hammia went close with a decent effort but Hearts goalie Richard Attahsaved the situation.
After recess, a strong midfield interplay between Ansah Botchway and Isaac Mensah created for Daniel Barniehwho missed narrowly with a header from Mensah’s short cross in the 54th minute.
That was followed by a breathtaking save from Zakaria Saidi on the 56th minute to deny Kofi Kordzi.
JS Saoura had a great chance to level but Aimen Lahmri’s 60th-minute strike hit the side of the post.
Saoura brought on Aimen Lahmri for Ismail Saadi as Hearts also introduced Enoch Asubonteng.
But it was Hearts that benefitted when the substitute Agyenim Boateng scored the second goal from a beautiful William Denkyi’s cross from the left in the 70th minute.
The Algerians ended the game with 10 men as goalkeeper Zakaria Saidi received a second yellow after a late challenge on Daniel Barnieh.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY