Hearts Pip Liberty
A stunning second half volley by Hearts Prince Tagoe from a Joe Luis cross earned them the maximum points at stake over Liberty Professionals in their eighth week GT Premier League top liner played at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra on Tuesday.
The Hearts victory however nearly turned sour when their coach, Ofei Ansah who masterminded the victory collapsed after the match and had to be rushed to the Ridge Hospital.
Hearts who had lost two consecutive friendly matches against Heart of Lions and Power FC came into the top liner in no mood to go down for their third defeat and rose to the occasion by playing one of their best matches this season.
Liberty, now coached by Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, former coach of Hearts, after the kicked off controlled the early exchanges from the midfield but were unable to break through the resolute defence of the Phobians, built around hard tackling Dan Coleman and Michael Donkor. After the brief dominance by the Dansoman based side, the Phobians went straight into action and started winning all the loose balls in midfield and nearly had their efforts rewarded in the fourth minute but Tagoe failed to punish a mistake by Liberty's James Dissiramah. Liberty's reply to Hearts first threat came in the eighth minute when former Kotoko striker, Michael Osei agonisingly watched his header rebound off the woodwork with goalkeeper Sani Mohammed beaten. Hearts who remained undaunted came close again in the 12th minute when Eric Nyarko cleverly set up Joe Louis who fired straight at onrushing Patrick Antwi in post for Liberty.
The game became balanced with chances opening at both ends but the attackers of the two teams failed to covert any of them to go into the first half break.
The second half was not different from the first as Hearts who looked more determined to carry the day pushed more men into attack and with four minutes in the second half, Tagoe was set up by a well laid cross by Louis to slot the ball into the blind side of keeper Antwi for the winner.
Liberty, sensing danger pushed more men forward and took control of the midfield but found it difficult creating havoc in the defensive area of Hearts as their striking pair of Peter Ofori Quaye and Michael Osei were overshadowed by Coleman and Donkor.
After battling the stubborn Hearts defence for some time, Liberty thought their efforts have been rewarded in the 75th minute when Michael Helegbe tapped in a loose ball into the net but he was adjudged to be in an offside position before he slotted in the ball to bring the final score to one nil in favour of Hearts
At the Tema Sports Stadium, Real Sportive played a determined game to beat visiting Sekondi Hasaacas 1-0 in their match. Sportive who wasted countless scoring chances in the first half, were a rejuvenated side in the second half and were a delight to watch as they mounted sustained pressure on their opponents Their consistent pressure paid for them when Hasaacas substitute Kingsley Kwarteng handled the ball in the penalty box in the 55th minute.
Skipper Abdulai Hamsa made no mistake when slotted in the ball for the only goal of the match for his side.
Hasacaas mounted a last minute onslaught but luck eluded them as Dan Acquaye's terrific shot in the 80th minute hit the crossbar for a welcome goal kick for Sportive.