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04.08.2004 Football News

Ghani's bittersweet tale earns Okwawu victory

By GNA

Accra, Aug 4, GNA - Okwawu United's Nasiru Ghani experienced a bittersweet tale at the Accra Sports Stadium when his 66th minute goal was all his team needed to scale over Power FC but was sent off for a second caution for taking off his jersey during celebration.

The match which was the first leg of the GHALCA special knockout competition, saw Okwawu as the away team, playing most of the second half with nine men having had defender Umar Yakubu was sent off earlier in the first half for head butting a Power player in an off the ball incident.

Okwawu United right from the start of the game gave a clear indication of what they had in stock for Power when they pushed forward for an early lead.

The soccer mountaineers' only threat upfront, Ghani proved a hand full for the Power defence as they found it difficult dealing with his surging runs from the flanks.

But from nowhere, Power nearly shocked the visitors when in the 10th minute, a shot by Allan Shearer beat Ahmed Saeed in post for Okwawu but rebounded off the woodwork to leave them off the hook.

Okwawu's reply was almost immediate when Ghani made a darting run from the right to centre for unmarked Moses Abram who failed to connect home.

Okwawu United suffered the first set back in the 24th minute when assistant referee, David Laryea caught Yakubu head butting Power's Sam Ocran in an off the ball incident and informed Class One Referee, Joseph Laryea who duly sent him off.

Power's numerical advantage did not show as Okwawu brought on veteran Eddy Acquah on for Yusif Amarboi to fill the gap at the back and the substitution worked perfectly.

The Soccer mountaineers continued to dominate even with a man down and in the dying embers of the first half the came close on two occasions to score but found Cudjoe Addo unyielding in post for Power. The pace of the game reduced considerably in the second half as both sides settled into their strides and took turns to raid each other's goal area in a ding dong affair.

Referee Laryea who was inconsistent with some of his decisions throughout the match showed Ghani a yellow card for a foul on Power substitute Wisdom Agblexo in the 59th minute.

Six minutes after receiving the caution, Ghani was on hand to finish off an intelligent run by substitute Yaw Kwabena for the game winner but was immediately given the marching off orders for a second yellow card after he removed his jersey and threw it into the stands whilst in his anxiety to celebrate the goal.

Power FC with a two-man advantage pushed forward for the equaliser and came close in the 83rd, 85th and 90th minutes but their strikers were not able to maintain their cool to pull their team on level grounds till the end of proceedings. 04 Aug. 04

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