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21.02.2005 Football News

Lame Hearts hoping to recover in time for Dolphins

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(BY: Cecil Adom, GNA special Correspondent back from Aba, Nigeria)

Aba, Nigeria, Feb 21, GNA - Confederations Cup Champions, Accra Hearts of Oak whose team was battered by a series of injuries during their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Super Cup match against Enyimba of Nigeria last Sunday, are hoping for a quick recovery of their wounded players in time before their Champions League match against Dolphins also of Nigeria in two weeks time.

In an interview with the GNA Sports in Aba after the match, which Hearts lost 0-2, Dr James Quartey, the team doctor said early diagnosis of the injured players revealed that they were not that serous except that of Lawrence Adjei.

He said Lawrence Adjei sprained his knee badly after a vicious tackle in the 78th-minute which was so bad that the player could not continue with play and had to leave the pitch at a time that the team had already exhausted its substitution. Hearts played the rest of the match with 10 men.

Dr Quartey said injures to Francis Bossman and Michael Donkor which resulted in the two players being substituted, could take a day or two to heal.

Hearts injury problem started hours before the match when combative midfielder Adjah Tetteh failed a late fitness test, as he could not shake of an injury he sustained in the team's last trial match before they left Accra.

The injury spiral followed the team to the match as the team's masseur and doctor Quartey were kept busy throughout the players had it difficult dealing with the stronger and bigger Enyimba players. Dr Quartey said Adjah's problem was as a result of muscle pull, which could heal soon.

He said he was sure that come the match against Dolphins in a fortnight time in Port Harcourt, the team would most likely be at its full strength with the only possible doubt being Lawrence Adjei, who is still under observation.

Hearts succumbed to Enyimba with two extra time goals after both sides had failed to score in regulation time.

The Ghanaians were forced to play with 10 men from the 78th-minute when Lawrence Adjei limped off with a sprained injury.

Even with the numerical disadvantage cum heavy down pour, Hearts fought till the sixth minute of extra time when they gave in to the pressure from the back-to-back Champions League winners when Mutui Adegoke's low drive gave the Nigerians the lead.

Tired Hearts fought the Nigerians till 109th-minute when Muri Ogungiyi doubled the Nigerian with a header to consolidate the Nigerian lead and guaranteed them a second Supper Cup in two years. 21 Feb. 05

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