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12.03.2006 Football News

Poor start for Arsenals at Top Four


Accra, March 12, GNA - The dreams of Berekum Arsenal of emulating the feats of King Faisal and Kpando Heart of Lions in the prestigious Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) Top Four Competition, began on a crooked when they lost with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the maiden winners, Accra Hearts of Oak at the El-Wak Sports Stadium in Accra on Sunday.

Arsenal, the new entrants of the 2006 edition of the competition, dubbed "OneTouch Top Four", prior to start of the event, vowed to emulate Faisal and Lions who won the award in 2004 and 2005 in their maiden appearances.

The 'Gunners' of Ghana soccer could not stand the might of the Phobians who presented a combination of both old and newly recruited players to silence the Berekum lads.

The victory thus places Hearts on the top spot while Kotoko and Faisal follow suit after their game ended in deadlock at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium leaving Arsenal stacked to the bottom.

The victory serves as a morale booster for Hearts, as they commence their continental campaign on Sunday with an away encounter against St George of Ethiopia.

Coach Francis Oti Akenten, however thinks other wise because in his view, much work has to be done on the team in terms of their sharpness in front of the goal especially in their Ethiopian game.

The coach's concern stems from the fact that in the game against Arsenal, the team could have won the match by the close of the first half but the CAF Champions League campaigners denied themselves an early lead as a result of the near misses on the part of the strikers. After soaking and living under much pressure in the first half, Arsenal on resumption of the second half enjoyed a temporary dominance but their attackers could not convert the few chances to goals and had to succumb to the threat of Phobians who took over proceedings. With a renewed strength following the introduction of Eric Gawu and Joe Louis for Moses Andoh and Amankwah Mireku respectively, Hearts opened the scores through the ever busy Gawu.

Gawu who much was expected from Hearts following the huge investment made in securing his services from King Faisal lived up to the desires of the teeming fans, when he completed a well executed job created by Francis Bossman to slot in the ball into the net.

The goal came about after keeper Justice Quarcoo in posts for Arsenal had clumsily handled a thunderbolt of a low grounder shot from Bossman.

Hearts maintained the pressure on the Berekum lads and succeeded in registering the second and the last goal in the 83rd minute. This time around, it was Bossman who emerged as the player of the match as he capitalised on a defensive blunder on the part of the Berekum defence men to crown a day for his side.

The attacker's performance was so conspicuous that he was declared as the best player with five minutes of added time of play. For his prize, he received a One Touch connected mobile phone.