Impressive Hearts nail King Faisal
Accra Hearts of Oak staged an impressive late rally to break a composed King Faisal side to win 2-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
With the game heading to the death with 10 minutes to go, Coach David Ocloo brought on Gladson Awako whose moment of genius cut the Faisal rear open to break their resistance as Salifu Ibrahim tapped in a cross from close range.
Two minutes later, the crest-fallen Faisal defence conceded a second in a similar fashion to hand Hearts a huge bounce to life after losing previous games.
But actually, Faisal gave a very good account of themselves after kicking off in an impressive fashion and kept the action in the Hearts territory.
In that spell, David OppongAfrane, Abdul Latif, Yahaya Baba, and Samuel AdomAntwi dictated a Faisal dominance in the midfield.
But Hearts settled and took control of possession as Eric Esso and Linda Mtange combined beautifully to create the first real chance of the afternoon.
That required a good anticipation from the Faisal goalkeeper, Benjamin AsieduKwesi to clear the ball to safety for a corner that was wasted.
Suraj Ibrahim made another timely clearance in the 13th minute to deny Hearts again.
The visitors lived dangerously as Hearts probed for the opener with near misses, with the closest hitting the crossbar on 25 minutes.
Hearts made a strong appeal for a penalty in the 44th minute when Faisal defender blocked a goal-bound strike from Isaac Mensah, but the Referee Nkuah Clement Kwame waved it off.
Hearts brought on Albert DieudonnneEonde and Salifu Ibrahim for Victor Aidoo and Gideon Asante Yeboah on resumption of the second half.
Faisal appeared to be better in the exchanges as they dictated the tempo, building up play beautifully from the back but were unable to penetrate the Hearts defence.
Few minutes after his introduction, Eonde nearly broke the deadlock, but his shot at goal was blocked by a Faisal defender in the 65th minute.
Hearts attacked again in the 76th minute and in the process, earned a corner which was wasted.
With the going getting tough for the Phobians, Coach Ocloo brought on Awako to work some magic in the last 10 minutes; and he delivered.
Together with the other substitutes, Awako worked the magic the Phobians had longed waited for all evening and it was a sight to behold.
After dropping deep to pick a ball from midfield, Awako weaved his way through and delivered a pinpoint left-footed pass that opened the Faisal defence.
It was intercepted by Eonde who laid to Salifu Ibrahim to tap home.
That broke the Faisal resilience in the 85th minute and greased the Phobian armada for more attacks.
Less than two minutes later, Hearts increased the tally with another tap in from Linda Mtange.
BY ANDREW NORTEY