Great Olympics posted a stunning 2-0 victory over rivals Hearts of Oak in their ‘Ga Mashie’ derby at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Gladson Awako and Maxwell Abbey sealed the deal for the ‘Dade’ boys who notched their fifth win in the Ghana Premier League match day-11.
Hearts were the most in-form team of the two prior to kick-off, but soon found themselves trailing to the visitors who had the first chance as early as the third minute to get in front through Samuel Abbey – only for Raddy Ovouka to arrive on time to intercept play.
The hosts came close moments later through skipper Fatawu Mohammed but his cracking long-range attempt went out of play.
Olympics grabbed a well-deserved lead on the 13th minute through skipper Gladson Awako after curling home a sublime free-kick at the edge of the penalty area. This was after Maxwell Abbey had been upended. The small band of Oly supporters rose to celebrate the goal wildly as their rival fans looked bewildered.
But more trouble was in store for the home contingent. Three minutes later, Maxwell Abbey doubled Oly’s lead with a superb volley from Samuel Abbey’s cross. This time, the noise that greeted the goal was more deafening.
Early substitution from Oly saw Hamza Zakaria come in for injured Matthew Dunga.
Hearts went close through Ovouka but missed narrowly before Razak saw his long drive fly above the bar.
Emmanuel Nettey’s powerful header from Fatawu’s cross almost pulled one back, but was denied by the woodwork.
Olympics’ goalkeeper Saed Salifu was called to duty as he punched out Nettey’s deflected shot to deny Hearts as the former made way for Benjamin Afutu.
At this stage, Hearts mounted a series of onslaughts on their arch rivals, but it was the visitors who went into the break with a comfortable two-goal lead. Minutes into the second half, Saed Salifu pulled out two great saves to deny Patrick Razak and Victor Aidoo as the Phobians kept pressing for a goal.
Twenty five minutes into the second half, Oly’s Maxwell Abbey nearly made things worse for Hearts, but his chip over goalkeeper Richmond Ayi missed the post by inches.
Isaac Mensah and Daniel Barnieh came on for Abdul Aziz Nurudeen and Patrick Razak respectively as the hosts kept increasing the tempo. Indeed, the Phobians nearly pulled one back in the dying stages, but goalkeeper Salifu scored full marks with two outstanding saves to deny their opponents a consolation.
Not even eight minutes of time added-on could alter the scoreline as Olympics kept their composure to snatch all three points.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY