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24.04.2007 League Report

Premiership In Photo-Finish

For the thousands of Hearts of Oak fans who thronged the Swedru Park for a grand celebration last Sunday, it was the failed attempts of their closest rivals, Ashantigold and Asante Kotoko, in the weekend's Onetouch penultimate encounters that settled the championship riddle in their favour.

The Phobians needed a point in their game against All Blacks, (one of the sides caught in a relegation web) but their dreams floundered as a spirited second half rally by the homesters left them trailing 1-2 till the end.

With only the appeal case filed by Tema Youth against them which is set for hearing today to be decided, Hearts have nothing to play for on Saturday against Berekum Arsenal as the competition draws to a close at the weekend.

But the fierce fight for the second Champions League slot will be revived again this weekend, and Ashgold will be obliged into a decisive battle against struggling Fetteh Feyenoord at the Swedru Park on Sunday.

Two crucial events last week put paid to Feyenoord's desperation to escape relegation when the FA set aside a protest they filed against Kotoko and subsequently went on to lose vital home points against Tema Youth.

But Kumasi Asante Kotoko badly need victory over Olympics at the Sunyani Coronation Park on Saturday to snatch the second slot from Ashgold.

RTU will have regulation issues to settle as they play Real Sportive in Tamale, but Tano Bofoakwa may be well set for the wilderness after a grudge derby at the Coronation Park with Faisal.

The game at the Gyandu Park between Hasaacas and Tema Youth on Sunday is one for the books.

An enraged Hearts Bulgarian Coach, Mitkov Dobrev, who is on the threshold of being the first foreign coach ever to win the national football competition, accused Referee S. B. Bortey for making a mess of what was set to be a memorable one for him and his fans.

Long after the referee's final whistle the Bulgarian was glued to his spot in utter disbelief after the referee had credited the homesters with what appeared as a controversial goal.

He told the Graphic Sports later that “this is a big joke for Ghana soccer', in reference to the 65th minute strike by All Blacks.

But Hearts officials, particularly their CEO, Mr Tommy Okine, were not only disappointed by officiating, but also felt betrayed by the listless performance of their players and believed they were not committed to the game.

All Blacks began their battle against relegation as early as the 21st minute when Bismark Aidan fired at close range but Hearts' reply was stupendous as defender Joseph Techie Mensah unleashed a volley from over 40 yards into the far corner of the net.

All Blacks profited from a controversial winner when Obed Owusu's volley which hit the upright was credited to the homesters who broke into a frenzy long into the night.

Preview by Andy Quao

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