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23.05.2004 Football News

Olympics supporters vent spleen on coach and referees

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Accra, May 23, GNA - Supporters of Accra Great Olympics last Sunday nearly attacked coach Mohamed Polo and the match officials after their premier league match against debutants, Real Sportive at the El-Wak Stadium.

The full time score was 1-1.

The angry supporters were not satisfied with the one all drawn game against the newly promoted side and some of them shifted the blame on the coach for poor selection whilst others were of the view that the referee was biased in his handling of the game.

The referee and his assistants had to be whisked away by the security personnel after the game, whilst some good Samaritans amidst insults escorted coach Polo from a large section of the fans when some of them tried to heckle him.

Olympics who took a slight dominance in the game in the first half, failed to take an early lead with Roger Odametten and Micheal Ocansey as the worse culprits when the former failed to make a connection to a cross from Joe Tagoe in the 25th minute whilst the latter's shot hit the cross bar in the 26th minute.

Odametten, however, made amends in the 37th minute when he fired a shot from a beautiful cross that was laid on his path by John Cudjoe to put his side ahead.

The "Dade boys" after the goal, battled to increase the tally but failed till the end of the first half.

With the lone goal lead after the first half, fans of Olympics who dominated the stands were expecting a goal harvest in the second half but the tall, athletic and robust players of Sportive turned the tides against the "Dade boys" and pinned them to their own half. Sportive who used El-Wak as their home ground, found their rhythm in the game and made constant attempts in the goal area of Olympics to find the equalizer, but former Accra Hearts of Oak's striker, William Gbedzeke and Richard Anderson failed to convert their chances with keeper Joe Halm standing between them and goal.

The debutants did not relent in their efforts to score, winning most of the midfield battles forcing Olympics to take a defensive approach to their game in a bid to defend their lone goal.

Sportive sustained their incessant pressure on the visitors and succeeded in finding the equalizer in the 84th minute of the game. This was after substitute Hamza Abdulai had lobbed a cross over the defence of Olympics for Gbedzeke to ply his head to it to beat agile keeper Halm of Olympics.

This served as a wake up call for Olympics who changed their style to a more attacking game in search of the match winner but failed to break through the defensive wall of the home team and not even the introduction of Amui Quaye for Joe Tagoe could change their fortunes. However, the game was affected by the bad nature of the pitch as well as series of rough tackles from both sides forcing Referee Alex Kotey to dish out eight yellow cards and one red card.

Out of the eight, five went to Olympics whilst Sportive received three with a red card shown to Anderson in the 89th minute to end the game. This did not however give Olympics any advantage as the score line remained same after four minutes of injury time.