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24.11.2002 Football News

Hearts lose to Al-Ittihad in Finals

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CHAMPION Club, Accra Hearts of Oak, succumbed to a 0-2 defeat to Al-Ittihad of Libya in the final of the Ramadan Cup invitational tournament in Tripoli last Friday.

Nadr Tahwuni secured victory for the Libyans with a 44th minute strike followed by another after the interval. However, the result was highly controversial as the match was characterised by biased officiating from some partisan local officials.

No wonder Hearts were reduced to eight men by the hour mark after Laryea Kingston, Ishmael Addo and Princeton Owusu-Ansah were shown the exit in the 45th, 53rd and 60th minutes respectively.

Laryea's send-off, just a minute after the first goal, did not deter the Phobians as they came strongly into the game while flighting for the equaliser.

But the two other marching orders which followed later frustrated the Ghanaians and affected their game negalively.

In the process, acting skipper, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, emerged as real general as he constantly fell back to defend while joining the attack as well.

Prominent in the Al-Ittihad line-up was Nigerian international, Victor Ikpeba while Camerounian Star Patrick Mboma, missed the final.

For placing second, Hearts received $20,000 cash, silver medals and certificates while the Libyans who were the hosts took away $30,000 in addition to gold medals and certificates.

The two teams who won their respective domestic leagues will participate in next year's Africa clubs championship.

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