Liberty Hammer Berekum Arsenals
A hat-trick scored by Kwame Obeng-Darko in a seven minute blitz in the second half and another goal by Kofi Nti Boakye ensured that Liberty Professional thumped Berekum Arsenals 4-1 in their 28th week GT Premier league at the Dansoman Sports Park.
All the five goals of the match were scored in the second half following a determined effort put up by Arsenals in the first half, which ensured that all attempts by Liberty to score did not see the light of day.
It was Arsenals who against the odds appeared the better side in the first half as they massed up at the back and midfield and relied on the power of Francis Aggrey up front to keep the half goalless. They were the first to come close to scoring in the 10th minute when a pass to Owusu Addai was scooped off his feet just on the nick of time with a daring attempt by Kotei Blankson in post for Liberty. Liberty who were unable to find a way through the maze of Arsenals defenders resorted to firing from long range and in one of their attempts in the 15th minute, they nearly found the opener after a shot by skipper Essuman Mustapha from deep inside the midfield just missed the posts narrowly.
With the match swinging from one end to the other, Arsenals had a penalty claim denied in the 20th minute when Liberty's James Dissaramah appeared to have handled the ball in the box just as Blankson dived to make a save.
Liberty's reply to the penalty claim was immediate as they lounged a quick counter attack from the left flank but with an open net before him, Kofi Nti Boakye fired wide to end the first half goalless. The second half was a totally different story as Arsenals' impressive defensive network that ensured that the chances that came the way of the home team were thwarted, gradually capitulated allowing Liberty to run riot.
First on target was Boakye who finished off a pass from Obeng-Darko in the 51st minute after the striker had profited from a miscued pass by Arsenals Fuseini Adams to run all alone to beat keeper Tony Asare before laying the pass.
Arsenals from then abandoned their defensive network and surged forward in a bid to get the equaliser and this proved to be their undoing when Boakye turned himself into the provider this time around when he put Obeng-Darko through after a break for the striker to score the first of his three goals in the 55th minute.
The away team did not learn their lesson from the first two goals as they continued to push their back-line forward.
Obeng-Darko who for most part of the game was anonymous popped up at the right time in the 59th minute when he reacted first to a pass and squeezed his way through two Arsenals defenders before coolly slotting the ball beyond the keeper Asare for the third goal.
Crestfallen Arsenals appeared lost and allowed Liberty to take total control of the game to score their fourth goal which came courtesy Obeng-Darko again who in an earlier fashion set up the first Liberty goal run unmarked from the half way mark to complete his second hat trick of the season after he recorded his first against Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
With the enthusiastic crowd expecting more goals from Liberty, it was Arsenals who instead scored their consolation goal in the 64th minute through a freak goal after a header from Francis Aggrey inadvertently hit his leg to deceive keeper Blankson before rolling into the net.