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31.10.2002 Football News

League Day 27: Hearts close to sixth straight title

League Day 27: Hearts close to sixth straight title
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[Results & Table] Olympics 1 Liberty 1 (Played on Thrsday)
Accra Hearts of Oak’s promise to adorn GFA General Secretary Kofi Nsiah with a sixth league title is close to fruition with their apparent win of the 2002 Premier League. Hearts, at the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday, stretched their lead atop the Premier league with a 2-1 disposition of stubborn Okwawu United 2-1 at a time that their bitterest rivals Kotoko drew 1-1 at Prestea. The Phobians now lead with six-point difference and look a more plausible side to annex the title for a record six consecutive times. Hearts’ ‘bad boy’ Laryea Kingston was the redeemer as he fetched his side’s two crucial goals by which they claimed the three points at stake. Kingston has had a rugged season as he faced a barrage of suspensions in the premiership from indisciplined behaviours. The three-week recess, surprisingly did not affect the output of both teams who right from kick off, contested all the 50-50 balls in earnest. However, it was Hearts attack, made of tormentor-in-chief, Charles Taylor, Don Bortey and Wisdom Abbey who looked more purposeful at goal. Kingston delivered a left footer shot into the roof of the net in the 21st minute after his first attempt was blocked. Okwawu hardly threatened the goal area of Hearts except a few incursions by top marksman, Osei Bonsu. He however incurred the displeasure of referee Emmanuel Kwame Twumasi in the 25th minute after he had intentionally hit skipper Joe Ansah in the face and was subsequently shown the yellow card. Taylor failed to convert two glorious chances for his side when in the 42nd minute he wasted a Wisdom Abbey through pass and seven minutes later, blew away a ‘me-and-you’ opportunity. Kingston made it two in the 56th minute when goalkeeper Fatua Duada punched a Don Bortey's free kick and Kinsgton ramed the ball into the net. Daniel Baba Yara pulled one back for Okwawu from a spot kick on the stroke of full time. Kotoko stumbles at Prestea Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s hopes of annexing the Premier League title this year was cut slim on Wednesday when Prestea Mine Stars showed them no respect in a 1-1 drawn game. Kotoko dropped two valuable points by that to have the gap between them and leaders Accra Hearts of widened to six, with three more matches to go. Mines Stars drew the first blood in the 59th minute of the second half with a superb goal by David Osei Tutu after they had taken Kotoko by storm and matched them boot for boot in the first 45 minutes. The fabulous boys found the going very tough as they apparently underrated their opponents and were not expecting such a dying fight from the miners. Kotoko, after the goal, surged forward firing on all cylinders and found the equaliser in the 68th minute through nimble footed Michael Osei. Both sides fought relentlessly for the winning goal which never came until the end of the game. B.A United Pip Hasaacas The Apostles of power Soccer B.A United on Wednesday put aside their managerial wrangling and confirmed their dominance over visiting Sekondi Hasaacas when they left them packing home with a painful 1-0 score line at the Sunyani Coronation Park. B.A United recorded the same Score line in the first round at Sekondi of all places. Hasaacas made their intention known as early as the 3rd minute when their defender Atta Yawson’s fierce free kick missed narrowly. That scare was enough to ginger B.A United who immediately replied with a counter attack, which saw young striker Daniel Bomfah hitting the ball hard into the roof of the net in the 5th minute. This was one match, which saw Hasaacas giving a good account of themselves leaving the home fans to sit on tenterhooks throughout the game. In-form Nasiru Gaani should have increased the tally in the 8th minute but shot off target in front of goal after cleverly outwitting all his markers. Within four minutes blitz Hasaacas Richard Afriyie and B.A United’s Emmanuel Nkrumah received the yellow card respectively for rough play. In the second-half, Awudu Moro replaced injured Emmanuel Nkrumah as both sides made some substitutions but it was the homesters who benefited, as substitute Justice Opoku (Akromah) earned a deserving penalty for B.A when Oblitey Mensah whacked him in the vital area in the 72nd minute. National goalie Isaac Amoako who elected himself for the kick saw his kick painfully hit the crossbar, for what would have been his second goal of the season. Nana Adarkwa who came to replace Angelo Dedon, and playing his first match of the season showed glimpses of his former self with some delightful touches. The exciting game became a ding-dong affair with B.A United slightly on top until referee Mustahpa Mohammed from Kumasi brought hostilities to an end. B.A Line Up: Isaac Amoako, Lawrence Kainya, Isaac Oppong (Booyaa), Alex Djanie, Alhaji Abass, Emmanuel Nkrumah/Awudu Moro, Kwasi Boateng , Angelo Dedon (Nana Adarkwa, Daniel Bomfah/Justice Opoku, Nasiru Gaani, Kwame Andrews. Maxbees, Arsenals draw at Koforidua In Koforidua, Berekum Arsenals held Suhum Maxbees to a 2-2 draw in their Premier league match. Though the Brekum boys outclassed the homesteads in all aspects of the game and one was expecting a goal harvest, poor shooting upfront made them to waste all the chances that came their way.
Arsenals took the lead in the 15th minute through their right-out, Robert Mensah but Maxbees pulled the equaliser three minutes later through a penalty when their centre forward Masawudu Mumuni was brought down in the box by Arsenals' defender Joseph Boakye. Masawudu who elected himself to take the kick put the ball at the blind side of the goal-keeper to make things even for his side.
Maxbees who were inspired by the goal soaked the pressure from the Berekum boys and only periodically made incursions into their goal area. In one of such counter attacks, Masawudu took advantage of a defensive blunder of Arsenals picked a ball floated into the Arsenals goal area and beat their on-rushing keeper Justice Quaicoo before tapping the ball into an empty net for the second goal of his side.
After recess, Arsenals put on more pressure and in the 52nd minute their inside right Osei Kofi blastered a non drop shot into the post for the equaliser after a cornerkick. After the equaliser, the Berekum boys put more pressure on their opponents but wasted all the chances that came their way till the final whistle of the match. Due to an intermittent rains during the match, only few spectators were on the field to watch the match.
Hearts 2 Okwawu 1 (H: Laryea Kingston 2) Kototo 1 Mine Stars 1 RTU 3 Power FC 1 Maxbees 2 B. Arsenals 2 Goldfields 0 Bofoakwa 0 Faisal 1 Dawu 0 Liberty-Olympics(To be played on Thursday)

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