Hearts tear Oly apart

Followers of Hearts of Oak yesterday turned the Accra Sports Stadium into near picnic when their pet club crushed city rivals Great Olympics 4-0 in their Week-14 Premier League tie.

They sang, danced, hugged and blew kisses at each other (forget about coronavirus), obviously excited at breaking their double chain of home draws against no less a side than their arch rivals.

As predicted, the evening lived up to its pre-match billing with the two buoyant sides exhibiting polished football that drew pretty patterns on the pitch – and intermittently drawing applause from the decent crowd.

Sometimes, too – in fleeting moments of agony, their play was lousy and triggered catcalls from the same energetic fans.

It was all-too expected from a Hearts-Oly dream encounter that for six decades had held fans spell-bound.

But Olympics were terribly let down by their goalie whose incredible jitters on the wet evening tore his side into shreds.

However, yesterday, it was limpidly clear Olympics were eager to ‘scatter’ Hearts’ stranglehold on them in premiership football that saw a painful back-to-back 2-1 losses in 2017.

Indeed, right from the get-go, it was the ‘Dade boys’ who carried the game to Hearts – even without their inspirational player Gladson Awako – feverishly hunting for an early opener from a bewitching midfield.

With the pendulum swinging from one end to the other, Hearts stuck first blood in the 15th minute after an electrifying counter attack.

Striker Joseph Esso latched onto the ball in midfield, spotted co-partner Kofi Kordzi whose right-footed corker could only be parried by goalkeeper Ayuba Nelson to the path of a lurking Esso to tap home for the opener.

Ibrahim Sulley should have leveled for Oly in the 51st minute after being set up by Osei Bonsu, but the former Black Starlets attacking midfielder shot feebly into the hands of the goalie.
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Playing one of his finest games, Benjamin Afutu Kotey headed home the second goal for Hearts in the 65th minute after a nerve-jangling clearance from the Oly backline.

Moments later, Afutu registered a brace after goalkeeper Nelson failed woefully to make a firm grab of a long range shot from midfield.
When all thought the mauling was over, Daniel Afriyie crushed home the coup-de-grace on the 90th minute mark to end the massacre – the worst result so far for Oly this season. For a Hearts side, that had struggled to sparkle in Accra, yesterday’s massive win may have marked the beginning of a huge turning point.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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