Hearts fight from a goal down to score four
Accra, April 11- A resurgent Accra Hearts of Oak with nothing than revenge on their mind fought back from a goal down to beat AS Aviacao of Angola 4-1 to almost confirm their qualification to the next stage of the CAF Champions League in their match played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Hearts who were eliminated by the Angolans at the same stage last year on a 3-2 aggregate had to fight for everything as their opponents proved unyielding especially in the first half when they caused a lot of anxious moments for the fans of the home team.
The Angolans to the surprise against all expectation were the first to open up right at the shrill of the whistle with some intelligent passes in the middle as they nearly took the lead in the sixth minute but for the vigilance of Lawrence Adjei who scrambled a goal bound shot off the goal line from a melee through a corner kick.
Hearts did not however heed to the early warning of the visitors as they allowed the Angolans to have more of the play, which resulted in the first goal in the 19th minute when Sebastiaj Cabungula beat the offside trap of Hearts to centre for onrushing danger man, Sidonio Inacio to fire into the roof of the net for the opener.
The goal was the awakening call that brought life immediately into the game of Hearts team as their started stringing their passes together and succeeded in putting the pressure on the defence men of Aviacao. Defender turned striker, Louis Agyeman took over the show upfront causing some nervous moments with his intelligent touches.
Agyeman, the main threat up front for the homesters, brought Hearts on level terms in the 15th minute when he took the ball from the midfield to run pass two defenders before firing a grounder from over 20 metres to beat keeper Gelson Cadete in the process.
The goal bolstered the confidence of Hearts and Agyeman nearly made it two in the 23 minute when he fired a rebound but shot straight into the hands of Cadete after the goalkeeper had fumbled with an earlier shot from Don Bortey.
Both teams settled down into their game format with the Angolans having the better of the play in the midfield whilst Hearts concentrated on fast breaks on the wings where Lawrence Adjei played a yeoman's game.
Hearts went into the lead in the 37th minute courtesy a near post header from inform Osei Kuffour whose header from Agyeman's scissor kick caught the Angolan keeper unawares.
At the beginning of the second half both teams made a substitution each with the Angolans bringing on veteran Paulao Antonio Alves for Simato Bendhilaa whilst Hearts pulled out Francis Bossman for Frank Kornu.
The Angolans from the start of the second half pushed more men forward again and in the 49th minute almost equalised when danger man Inacio broke through with a set piece to beat goalkeeper Sammy Adjei but Kwabena Boafo was on hand to timely clear the goal bound shot off the goal line.
The Angolans again came close to getting the equaliser in the 62nd minute but for the heroic display of Sammy Adjei who made a reflexive save when he pushed a point blank header from Cabungula to touch. Hearts scored their third goal in the 68th minute when Adjah Tetteh scored with a speculative long drive from outside the edge of the box to beat stranded Cadete.
Determined to carry the day and cheered by ther vociferous supporters, Hearts brought on Ablade Morgan for tired Lawrence Adjei in the 80th minute and within eight minutes the substitute ensured the confidence reposed in him by the coach to tapped in a loose ball into the net after Kuffour's effort had been cleared off the line for the fourth goal.
Morgan nearly made his inclusion a memorable one when right on the depth of full time he run through the tired looking defence of the Angolans to fire his shot which beat the goalkeeper but could not beat the post as it hit the post to rebounded into play for Kuffour to fire wide. Line Up Hearts (Ghana) - Sammy Adjie, Eric Nyarko, Amankwa Mireku, Dan Quaye, Kwabena Boafo, Adjah Tetteh, Francis Bossman/Frank Kornu(46th minute) Lawrence Adjei/Ablade Morgan(80th Minute) Louis Agyman, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Bernard Don Bortey/Alfred Nii Larbi(65 minute) AS Aviacao(Angola) - Gelson Cadete, Simato Benihaa/Paulao Antonio Silva(46th minute), Sergio Matosmua, Jacinto Pereira, Yamba Sha, Marten Dos Santos/Kadira Silva(60th minute), Dorminigos Pedro, Sadnio Inacio/Renato Carlos (70th minute), Sabastiaj Cabungala, Humberto Do Rosancio