Jessie Noi’s 97th minute header handed Tema-based Rences FC a dramatic hard-fought 1-0 victory over Kwabenya-based Na God FC in the Greater Accra Division 2 middle-league final at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The victory guaranteed the Zone 2 champions Rences a place in next season’s Ghana Division One League (DOL).
The winner came deep in time added-on when all pointed to a barren 90 minutes and all that left was a free-kick near the goal area of Na God FC.
Before the free-kick was taken, Na God effected a late substitution to replace their goalkeeper with his deputy with the hope to deal with the expected shoot-outs.
But that was not to be as the goalie appeared lost in a crowded goal area as the expertly-taken free kick was headed home at the back post to spark wild jubilation from the Tema faithful.
Rences mounted pressure on their opponents in the early minutes and made the first incursion through Prince Appiah who blasted wide in the second minute.
Gradually warming themselves, Na God responded with a decent strike from Prince Mireku minutes on. It could have been a deserved opener for Rences but skipper Blessing Boafo missed narrowly with a low drive in the 10th minute.
Boafo again came close with another effort minutes before Wisdom Kofi Dworsah and Louis Annang came close for of Na God after the 30th minute.
Blessed with oily midfielders, Rences dominated play but the backline of Na God gave the Tema-based side no room to operate.
Back from recess, Benjamin Oduro nearly gave Na God the opener with a powerful strike after he dummied his marker but goalie Patrick Sam pulled a decent save in the 59th minute.
Keen on breaking the deadlock, fresh legs were introduced by both sides as Na God brought on Blessing Kwarteng for Louis Annang as Rences substituted Teye Mensah for Henry Asiedu.
Na God goalie Justice Boakye denied Jesse Noi a goal in the 66th minute when he came off his line to block a goal-bound strike.
With 10 minutes left to play, Na God missed closely from Patrick Appiah’s soft shot, after being fed on a pass from midfield to hit from close.
In the 83rd minute, Rences defender Richard Asana blocked a powerful effort from Benjamin Oduro after goalie Sam missed out on an aerial challenge.
With the game approaching penalties, the magical moment was produced when Noi connected perfectly with a free header from Maxwell Takyi’s cross to hand Rences a spot in next season’s Division One League.