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26.04.2004 Football News

Liberty romp pass hapless Humbo

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Accra, April 25, GNA - Dasoman-based Liberty Professionals romped into the next stage of the Confederations Cup in an emphatic style when they beat Petro Huambo of Angola 5-1 in the their return leg encounter at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Liberty has thus progressed on a 5-2 aggregate having lost their earlier first leg encounter by a lone goal in Luanda two weeks ago.

The feat was by dent of hard work as the match saw the Angolans proving very unyielding in the early stages compelling the young Liberty team to do all the work in the midfield but finding it tough breaking down the opponents' defensive wall.

Liberty decided then to resort to long range drives and in the eighth minute nearly opened the scoring when Skipper Essuman Mustapha's drive from the edge of the box was pushed to touch by Capessa in post for Huambo.

The home team put more pressure on the Angolans and came close in the 12th and 16th minutes but again the visitors proved a hard nut to crack and managed to wither the storm.

Against the run of play, the Angolans nearly took the lead in the 24th minute when a header from Marcos after a corner kick rebounded off the goalpost.

Liberty took the scare in their stride as they redoubled their efforts up front and it came as no surprise when in the 35th David Boateng who had been menacing all over the goal area of the visitors blasted a rebound into the roof of the net after Capessa had failed to make a first time save of Osei Akoto's shot.

With their tails up and the game poised at one all on aggregate, Boateng nearly made it two in the 39th minute but his bullet of a shot went just wide.

In the second half, Liberty opened up right at the blast Togolese referee Atsu Kokou's whistle and with the half barely three minutes old, Akoto who had a great game found himself in space but again failed to finish off.

Liberty's early second half pressure restricted the Angolans to their own half of the pitch and it was clear that it was only a matter of time that their opponents' resistance would snap.

The breakthrough that Liberty needed came rather bizarrely when goalkeeper Capessa rushed out of his post to make a timely save before Felix Baffoe could get to the ball but strangely dropped the ball allowing the Liberty striker to easily take the ball off him to shoot into the empty net in the 58th minute.

The jubilation that came with the second goal had not died down when Liberty stretched the lead further a minute later when Akoto pounced on a loose ball from the middle and cleverly went past two defenders before placing the ball beyond the reach of Capessa for Liberty's third.

With the storm of qualifying effectively over, Liberty took their legs off the accelerator and brought on Jonathan Quartey and Eric Bekoe for Michael Helegbe and Felix Baffoe in the 75th and 79th minutes respectively.

The Angolans also made a couple of substitutions but could not alter the trend of play as Bekoe added the fourth in the 83rd minute when he easily tapped in Quartey's cross from the left flank. The Angolans who fought on for a consolation goal were awarded a penalty kick in the 86th minute when substitute Caricoco was brought down in the box for Juburo to convert the resultant kick for a face saving gaol.

But Liberty showed they were not finished with their job of carrying the day as deep into injury time they scored the fifth goal. It came about when Quartey's run from deep inside the midfield was tapped in by Mark Amofa who had earlier come on for David Boateng.

Line up - Liberty (Ghana): Patrick Antwi, Mustpha Essuman, Wahid Mohammed, Agyeman Hanson, Issifu Ansah, David Addo, Stanley Afedzi, Osei Akoto, Felix Baffoe/Eric Bekoe (79th minute) David Boateng/ Mark Amofa (83rd minute) Michael Helegbe/Jonathan Quartey (75th minute). Petro Huambo (Angola): Capessa, Marcos, Dinho, Faushino, Xilo/Vunda (64th minute), Dyusse, Nqueno, Eliseu, Bonicio/Dudu (67th minute), Jaburo, Mano/Caricoco (61st minute).

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