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16.06.2003 League Report

Premiere Results Day 6

Premiere Results Day 6
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Champion Hearts of Oak went top of the table on Sunday, taking advantage of the inactivity of bitter rival Asante Kotoko. Hearts beat Brong Ahafo United 2-1 in Accra for its fourth win in six matches, taking the club to 14 points, one more than Kotoko. Kotoko's much-anticipated meeting with Liberty Professionals was postponed because both clubs have players in the Ghana squad for Saturday's African Nations Cup qualifier against Uganda. Prestea Mine Stars remained third even after losing 2-1 at Hearts of Lion at Kpando. Herewith some of the results of the sixth week Kinapharma Premiere matches played today:- Accra: Hearts 2 - 1 B/A United Kpandu: Lions 2 - 1 Mines Stars Berekum: Arsenal 1 - 0 Okwawu United Sunyani: Bofoakwa 1 - 1 Stay Cool K'dua: Power 1 - 0 RTU Kotoko - Olympics (postponed) Liberty - King Faisal (postponed) Sekondi: Hasaacas - Goldfields (postponed) HEARTS TAKE TOP SPOT Defending league champions, Accra Hearts of Oak on Sunday struggled to beat Brong Ahafo United 2-1 in their sixth week tie of the Kinapharma league played at the nations Wembley, Accra Sports Stadium. The Phobians' victory shot them to the top of the league table ahead of Kotoko who did not play at the weekend due to a national assignment involving several of their players. Hearts had dominated the early stages of the game but could not take advantage of the several opportunities that came their way. United went slightly ahead after gaining confidence but they were also unable to find the opener till the end of the first half. From recess, the Hearts attack became a resurrected side after Wisdom Abbeys' inclusion for unimpressive Massawudu Mumuni. The rainbow boys as if possessed opened countless assaults on their opponents who were lucky not to have conceded goals during the period and it came as no surprise when Hearts opened the scores in the 53rd minute through Frank Turkson with a beautiful tap in from close range. The goal came as a result of a perfect build up between impressive Abbey and Kenneth Sarpong when the former received a through pass from the midfield and raced cleverly into the Sunyani lads' goal area. Hearts continued the pressure and kept missing chances only for United to bring the game at par in the 73rd minute through Justice Opoku who capitalized on loose marking by the Hearts defence to beat goalkeeper Eben Dida who was playing his first game of the season with a difficult to salvage shot into the corner of the net. The Phobians, incensed by the equalizer became more purposeful and turned United's goal area into a boiling zone and in one of their numerous moves up front they scored the match winner through Abbey when he connected a corner kick in the 85th minute to shoot the defending champions to the top of the league table. United also had reasonable chances to even up matters once more but missed, while Osei Kufour, captain of the Phobians on the day, threw away begging chances to the amazement of the fans.

LIONS STOP MINES At Kpando, Heart of Lions earned their second home victory by beating Prestea Mines Stars 2-1. Lions took the lead in the 29th minute through Masiri Joseph who stabbed in a shot during a goalmouth action. Amewu Komla, playing at the inside-right position raised the tally to two for the Lions in the 31st minute when he also snapped in a shot from an intense goalmouth action. The second half was played on a waterlogged field following a downpour during recess. It was a very balanced half but in the end it profited the visitors who scored a consolation goal. Mines Stars took control of the game at the terminal stages and were rewarded in the 89th minute when Jonathan Abeiku netted to reduce the tally to 2-1. The jubilant home crowd drummed and danced to Borborbor and brass band music after the match chanting, "you cannot go free from the lions' den."

ARSENALS WIN At Berekum, Arsenals managed a 1-0 win over visiting Okwawu United in their encounter, which was marked by rough play. The only goal of the match was however fetched for the home side by Charles Benson formerly of Hearts of Oak fame but now on loan to Arsenals. Benson's powerful drive in the 30th minute was all that Arsenals needed to collect the maximum points from their opponents.

BOFOAKWA, STAY COOL MATCH IN ABRUPT END The match involving Sunyani-based Tano Bofoakwa and visiting Tema Stay Cool Professionals Football Club at the Coronation Park ended abruptly in the 90th minute when the Tema boys vehemently protested a penalty awarded against them. At the time of the incident the two sides had scored a goal each with both goals emerging in the first half. There were hectic exchanges in the vital area of the visiting team and out of the blue the Berekum-based Referee Nana Boamah Darko pointed to Stay Cool's penalty box indicating an infringement against them. Hardly had the referee taken the decision than the Tema boys and some of their supporters rushed on him to challenge it. Play was consequently held up for about 10 minutes and when it became clear to the referee that Stay Cool were not in anyway prepared to rescind their decision of not allowing the penalty to be taken he had no option than to whistle for the end of the game. Earlier, the commencement of the match had been delayed due to a clash in jerseys as both teams presented identical ones. Referee Boamah Darko who was a last-minute substitute for the match following the failure of the originally appointed match officials to report suggested that one of the teams changed to a different and approved jersey but none would oblige. This issue was heatedly argued but upon intervention by Mr Num Dwomoh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Chairman of the Ghana Football Association and Mr. Peter K. Gyempeh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Senior Sports Organiser of the National Sports Council (NSC) the issue was resolved. That was when Bofoakwa Tano volunteered to wear a numberless T-Shirt on top of the original jersey. And when play eventually started at 3.30 pm Bofoakwa had their goal in the ninth minute through Awuni Alimah who connected home Kwasi Matthew's curling long-range shot with a header. Stay Cool did not stay cool immediately after the goal and with Addo Samuel, Phillip Lamptey, Kor Koffie, Afutu Patrick and Ansah Eric working as a team brought pressure on the defence of Bofoakwa Tano. In the course of their probing, Afutu Patrick grabbed the equalizer for his side in the 19th minute when his header beat goalkeeper Ransford Kudjoe of Bofoakwa. Ansah Eric was the first player to taste the referee's yellow card for challenging him in the 23rd minute. In the 25th minute Stay Cool nearly scored but Phillip Lamptey's shot was intercepted with a beautiful save and in the 32nd minute the striker who enjoyed a good afternoon missed another chance when his header hurtled a fraction of an inch away from the posts, thus ending the first half 1-1. The second half was virtually for Bofoakwa but erratic shooting and lack of concentration up-front robbed them of more goals. In the 86th minute Addo Samuel of Stay Cool received the marching off orders from the referee for a second bookable offence when he intentionally delayed time with the ball. The visitors however managed to hold the homesters until the 90th minute when they refused to allow a penalty awarded against them to be taken thus bringing the game to an abrupt end.

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