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17.01.2005 Football News

Hearts beat Togoport

By Graphic
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Confederation Cup holders, Hearts of Oak,sustained their joyous moments when they beat Togolese side, Togoport, 2-1 in an international friendly in Accra yesterday.

In spite of an early setback, Hearts fought back and redeemed the early deficit before the break and claimed the winner late in the game to send their supporters into a frenzy.

And following the final whistle, the supporters broke free onto the field and mobbed the heroes who crafted the side's second continental success in Kumasi last Sunday. In a game that served celebration purposes for the Ghanaian side on account of their historic continental success, Togoport struck after just seven minutes through Mohammed Alhassani in a real threat to spoil their hosts' party.

Hearts lost the ball in their own half and as Togoport combined with one-touch plays in the midfield, Alhassani fired from the edge of the penalty area beyond Hearts goalkeeper Sannie Mohammed and into the roof of the net.

It was an early setback for Hearts, and although they reclaimed their hold on the game and pushed forward from the flanks where Lawrence Adjei and Francis Bossman operated, they remained far from the equaliser because of the brilliant goalkeeping by Abousi Mebina-Ebo. The lead, however, could not last beyond the 38th minute when Bossman struck a low ball from a crowded goalmouth following Hearts' sustained dominance.

Until then, Togoport had maintained the lead on account of Hearts' near misses through Prince Tagoe, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour and Lawrence Adjah Tetteh in the 16th, 22nd and 30th minutes respectively which nevertheless seemed to make them have the equaliser within their reach.

Bossman was denied the upright three minutes after the goal, but his side could not be denied the winner after 76 minutes when Prince Tagoe tapped home a low cross from the right.Hearts introduced the newly-signed on Michael Sarpong, at the restart and the player brought on some speed and fire into their attack. He picked a ball from the right, raced down the flank and crossed onto the path of Tagoe to finish it off.

Sarpong remained an interesting performer in the absence of a few notable names like Louis Agyemang and Bernard Don-Bortey, and he carried the fans along with screams at his touch of the ball.Togoport could have ended the game level, but substitute Afanu Koffi kicked a clear chance away with virtually the last kick of the game.

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