King Faisal beat Marsa
Accra, Aug 6, GNA - Kumasi King Faisal, Ghana's only representative in continental club football this year, kept their 100 per cent record in Group A of the Confederations Cup after two matches when they beat AS Marsa of Tunisia with a hard won lone goal victory at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra on Saturday.
The win keeps Faisal on top of their group with six points irrespective of the results in the other group match, which pitches AS FAR of Morocco against Fello Stars of Guinea in Rabat.
Faisal occupy this enviable spot on the group's table by virtue of their opening match lone goal win over Fello Stars of Guinea in Conakry while Marsa and AS FAR split the points in their match.
Playing at their adopted Accra home in view of regressing work going at the Kumasi Sports Stadium, Faisal opened up right from the blast of the referee's whistle and unsettled their Tunisian opponents with series of dangerous moves into the goal area of their opponents. Led by the trickery of right winger, Ben Wilson, Faisal curved open the Tunisian defence twice within the first three minutes but were unable to find target, as poor finishing and over anxiety that became their bane throughout the match resulted in their efforts going off target.
But the tactically disciplined Tunisians were not prepared to sit down and allow Faisal to run the showand nearly created panic in the box of the Ghanaians but for the timely intervention from Richard Adjei. Urged on by their supporters and sizable crowd, Faisal took total control of the game and restricted the defensive-minded Tunisians to their half of the field for long spells of the game, but the vital ingredient needed to spice their efforts proved illusive as the Tunisians defence marshalled around Guitouni Hafedh and Boussif Jilani reigned supreme at the back.
The encounter gradually assumed a pattern as the Tunisians waited patiently at the back soaking all the pressure from the Ghanaian attack and making occasional fast breaks, which the Faisal defence dealt with efficiently till the end of the first half.
The pattern of the game in the second half was not different from the first as Faisal continued to probe for the illusive opener, which failed to come their way even though they created some decent chances. As the game progressed, it was apparent that the only person who could conjure some form of magic to rescue Faisal was Eric Gawu who was a constant threat up front.
In the 62nd minute, Gawu nearly created the opening when his opportunistic non-drop shot from behind the box, was spilled from danger by Khalloufi Jassem in post for the Tunisians but the Faisal strikers were not alert to take advantage to slot home the rebound. Eventually the much needed opener that the Faisal supporters had craved for all day long came in the 71st minute when Eric Gawu who was dangerously making in-rows in the box of the Tunisians was brought down by Ghazouani Nizer for a penalty for Abuabakar Yahuza to expertly convert for the only goal of the match.
The goal brought life into the game of the Tunisians who abandoned their defensive approach to the game and pushed more men forward creating some anxious moments for the defence men of Faisal who remained alive to their responsibilities by clearing their lines till the final whistle.
Faisal will next play AS FAR of Morocco in their final Group A match in the first round match.
Line up: Faisal (Ghana) - Mohammed Suraju, Illiasu Shilla, Ansah Bobie Akwasi/Yahaya Iddrisu, Adjei Richard, Opoku Kwabena/Prince Antwi, Ben Wilson, Abubaker Yahuza, Gawu Eric, Sumaila Nyaaya Alhassan, Ofosu Kwadwo Micky/Owusu Peprah Edmund
AS Marsa (Tunisia) - Kholloufi Jassen, Bouguerrh Abdelkerim/Ben Mehrez Khaled, Ghazouani Nizar, Boossif Jilani, Guitouni Hafedh, Adli Nachi, Hammami Zied, Touati Mohamed/Jerbi Anis, Azek Anis, Hirech Khalid, Aymen Rachid. 06 Aug 05