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06.07.2009 League Report

Hearts' Kotoko In Crucial Ties

By Daily Graphic
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Accra Hearts of Oak’s gradually diminishing league title dream reaches a crucial point tomorrow as they play away to Kessben at Abrankese, while their main challengers, Asante Kotoko, clash with uninspiring Liberty Professionals at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra.

With the two games having every potential to decide the direction of the league title, the premier league board has instructed that both games, as well as the other six ties during the weekend, start at 3 p.m. exactly.

The directive, coming against the background of relegation worries for at least eight clubs and championship ambitions for two more teams – Heart of Lions and King Faisal – is indicative of the seriousness of the weekend games.

The circumstances appear to have ignited the atmosphere to the extent that as the league gets into the home run, both ends of the table are pressured by various factors.

For Hearts, it has been a terrible second round, their once-commanding lead cut down to just a two-point advantage, while many rescue operations have also failed to yield results.

Their draw with All Stars in Accra last Monday carried their winless streak to six in a row, and even when they lifted the President’s Cup on Wednesday, it came through the lottery of a penalty shootout.

Hearts’ embattled coach, Nii Noi Thompson, however, believes the victory could be the turning point of the fortunes as they head into the final games of the league.

At Abrankese, where Kessben have remained strong, the Hearts coach is nursing faint hopes that Kessben’s near slip against All Blacks last Monday can inspire his players to secure victory.

Liberty Professionals’s struggle against potential relegation has coincided with Kotoko’s unrestrained surge and their clash at the El-Wak Stadium will likely draw the best from both sides in a game that holds serious consequences to either team’s campaign.

In other games, King Faisal and Heart of Lions play at the Baba Yara Stadium, All Blacks welcome Arsenal to Swedru, Chelsea face All Stars in Sunyani, Sporting Mirren and RTU play at the Ohene Djan Stadium, Hasaacas meet Tema Youth at the Sekondi Stadium, while Ashantigold engage Eleven Wise at the Len Clay Stadium at Obuasi.

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