Accra Hearts of Oak survived a real scare from Tema Real Sportive and endured a difficult period before coming off 3-2 winners on their recsheduled Onetouch Premier League tie at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra yesterday.
The Phobians zoomed into a 2-0 lead by the 26th minute and increased the tally after 65 minutes, but a resurgent Sportive side crafted a near-perfect comeback bid in a seven-minute spell that left Hearts fans still rooted all over the stadium in shock long after Nsawam-based Referee Samuel Gyasi's final whistle.
Indeed, the defending champions began to live dangerously once goalkeeper Laud Quartey's error handed Sportive their first goal in the 75th minute.
And when PLB Man of The Match, Mohammed Yakubu, struck their second with eight minutes left, it forced virtually the entire Hearts bench onto their feet with Coach Eyal Lachman always straying onto the field to issue instructions.
Bernard Don Bortey's clinical strikes on the 24th and 26th minutes set the stage for another vintage showing by Hearts who ended the first round with a convincing 3-0 victory over Wa All Stars in Accra.
And despite Sportive's dominance in possession with skipper Esmy Mends and Kamil Yunus in control, Hearts' second round revival mission appeared to have started in perfect fashion as substitute Ishmael Addo set up fellow substitute Edward Adjaglo for the third goal.
But goalkeeper Quartey conceded an embarrassing goal from Eric Owusu who quit defensive duties to join the attack, while Mohammed added the second that left the stadium dead silent.
Story by Michael Quaye