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17.11.2006 Football News

Can Hearts Make It At Kaladan

By gna
Can Hearts Make It At Kaladan
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After three straight wins in the Onetouch Premier League, Mitko Kostadinov Dobrez has reason to dream big about Hearts of Oak's chances in the championship.

But this Sunday comes with its own challenge. The coach guides his side to the dreaded Kaladan Park in Tamale where RTU's struggle for survival continues with a crunch game against the giants.

Coming as one of the penultimate matches before Ghana names representatives for next year's continental club competitions, the match holds equal importance as second-placed Asante Kotoko move down to Ho where they face endangered species, red-eyed Power FC.

Power's place at the bottom has been uncharacteristic in recent years since they broke free from the cycle of fighting relegation after 2003.

Placed third from the top and third from bottom respectively on the standings, Hearts and RTU lie far enough from each other, which appears to belie the nearness of their qualities.

With just a win from five home matches, RTU's abysmal show appears rooted in a three-match home ban effected at the start of the season.

Following their 1-1 draw with Kotoko and a 3-0 spanking of Power FC in their only home games at Kaladan so far, RTU's fortress appears to have revived their flagging campaign from rampant defeats (one at home and three away in 10 games) to an inspiring goalless draw against Liberty Professionals at Dansoman last Sunday.

Najawu Issah's brilliance in goal has been as inspiring as Gilbert Ayikade's midfield distribution and general game control for RTU, but the teams backbone at home remains the support base which has fed on the modest triumphs of the club.

Yet Ablade Morgan, Moses Andoh, Eric Gawu and Reuben Senyo form only the frontline of Hearts recent outstanding show that puts RTU's will to test on Sunday.

Simultaneously, Kotoko will attempt to parry Hearts' heavy breathing down their necks when they face hitherto virtual whipping boys, Power FC.

Power's 2-0 win against Bofoakwa last Sunday was their first in the season, coming at a time they needed confidence and inspiration to tackle Kotoko.

Their strike rate of at least one goal at home is enough danger to any opposition, but they have also conceded enough to cause concern for their own good, especially when they could be overwhelmed by Kotokos support at Power's home.

League leaders Ashantigold return home to play Real Sportive in a potential thriller at Obuasi, while King Faisal return to Tema in two weeks to play impressive Tema Youth.

Great Olympics host Heart of Lions at Ho, Hasaacas take on Gamba All Blacks at Sekondi, Feyenoord engage Arsenal at Swedru, while Bofoakwa play Liberty Professionals at Sunyani in the other matches.