Can Hearts of Oak repeat and magnify their feat in African football in 1977 and 1979 after that clamorous happy and delirious miracle of El-Wak and the sinking of Hafia Club of Guinea at the Accra Sports Stadium? Or can A.S. Aviacao come, see and conquer Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium come Sunday? M.B. Brimah provides the answers.
The position of Accra Hearts of Oak in this titanic encounter against A.S Aviacao can be likened to a particular miracle victory in World War II, the sinking of the German battleship, the Bismarck. The giant German battlewagon was a tremendous vessel and a terrifying threat to Allied shipping. British Intelligence learned that the Bismarck was leaving the North Sea area and was headed for the open sea where it was certain to have many field days sinking British and American ships. When Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister learned of this he made a decision; the Bismarck had to be sunk.
His staff officers advised him that this couldn't be done. The logic of the moment showed the British obviously lacked ships, aircraft and firepower to do the job. But all the negative talk didn't discourage Churchill. He was determined. This is his order to the fleet flag officer, "You are taking every possible step to see that the Bismarck is sunk. Remember, sink the Bismarck". In short order, the Bismarck was sunk. It was quite a battle but the Bismarck was sunk.
Accra Hearts of oak are in such a situation today as they go on the prowl in quest of sinking A.S. Aviacao in spite of insurmountable odds. The successors to the 1977 and 1979 glorious Hearts players will be fighting to make up for the team's disastrous showing in Luanda, where they failed to meet the expectations of their supporters.
The present squad has the same look and one hundred percent committed psyche if not more than the squad that defeated Mufulira Wanderers 3-0, after losing 2-5 in Lusaka, Zambia in 1977. The present squad also has the same resolve, determination and total concentration, if not more, than the team that beat the dreaded Hafia Club of Guinea 3-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium. The present players have made football history, winning the league title six times in a row. They have also won the Africa Champions League and the Super Cup, the first ever by a Ghanaian club. The squad has a winning mentality, big game temperament and the "Never Say Die" spirit.
Like Winston Churchill, Hearts management has built the structure and getting necessary to sink AS Aviacao on Sunday. And Coach Herbert Addo, like the British fleet flag officer, has developed the players self-confidence, strength and strategy to a high degree with no other considerations having any weight whatever, apart from total win.
The logic of the moment is A. S. Aviacao exhibits lots of skill on the ball with typical African technique, possessing good height and couching their goals from the wings. They can even afford to sit pretty tight on the match, having already bagged three goals from the first leg encounter in Luanda, Angola. They also have the men in Antonio "Rasco" Maieco, Joao "Jamba" Perreira, Kadina da Silva, Sergio Antonio, Jacinto Perreira, Domingos Celestino, Humberto Gomez, Malamba Jesus, Love, Taty, Dada and Flamingo.
These notwithstanding, Hearts of Oak are taking every possible step to see that A.S. Aviacao is sunk on Sunday. "In fact, we are not only taking the possible steps, not only the easy steps and the obvious but the difficult and the almost impossible steps we can manage as well. The eyes of the whole Ghana are upon us. God willing, we will deliver," Hearts Chief Executive Officer Thomas Okine told this writer.
The encounter will be quite a battle. But I fancy Hearts of oak to exhibit the grace and dread of a new style to sink A.S. Aviacao. Arise O Hearts of Oak and shine. Ghana hails thee!