(By Veronica Commey, GNA Special Correspondent, Port Harcourt)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria, March 06, GNA - A determined Dolphins Club of Port Harcourt, Nigeria on Sunday humiliated Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club when they beat them 4-0 in their Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League first leg match played at the Port Harcourt Liberation Sports Stadium.
The rusty Phobians, who played without most of their regular players, conceded one and three goals respectively in both halves to begin this year's campaign on a sloppy note.
Hearts who made the trip with question marks on their form could not leave up their expectations as they allowed their hosts, who seemed an ordinary side, lots of space to dominate the game.
Dolphins Kelechi Osunwa unsettled Hearts on the 13th minute mark when he capitalised on sloppy marking from the depleted defence of the visitors to register the opener that set the intimidating stadium ablaze.
The early goal inspired the Nigerians to kill off the game early, but for the bravery of inform goalkeeper, Saanie Mohammed who rescued the Kwabena Boafo-led defencs with some breath taking saves which left the supporters applauding on the 21st minute.
In between play, it was the tired looking Bernard Don Bortey who was gifted with the clearest chance for the visitors when he raced above his markers only to shoot wide to the relief of the partisan home crowd. Another rare opportunity came the way of sluggish, Richard Anderson but the youngster in an easier to score than to miss fashion, shot into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Austin Brown when anxiety took the better part of him with only the yawning net ahead of him.
When Dolphins finally resumed control, it was their lousy shooting upfront which kept Hearts in the game for the rest of the first half. Fatigued Prince Tagoe, who joined Hearts from his abortive trials with PSG of France on Thursday, was also presented with a glaring opportunity to pull even from the recess, but the lanky striker made a mess of the situation to leave the Blue and White Nigerian champions off the hook.
When Dan Oppong and Michael Donkor twice scooped goal bound balls from the goal line within two minutes interval, it was obvious that coach Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio's worst fears of a possible humiliation was on the way.
A moment of indecision on the part of goalkeeper Saanie caused Hearts on the 63rd mark when Endurance Idahor finally consolidated his side's lead when he out-jumped the defenders to connect home from a corner kick to open the flood gates for more goals.
The Rainbow Boys who travelled with only 17 players including four goalkeepers and played three flat at the rear were caught pants down when Ochuho Ojobo exploited an offside trap to race deep into the vital area before displacing Saanie for the third goal.
Hard pressed, Acquah Harrison made it four for the Nigerians when his clearance from an aerial scramble went into his own net. Hearts line-up
Saanie Mohammed, Dan Oppong, Acquah Harrison, Kwabena Boafo, Michael Donkor, Eric Nyarko, Lawrence Adjah Tetteh, Bernard Don Bortey, Joe Tagoe/Douglas Nkrumah, Prince Tagoe/Wisdom Agblexo, Richard Anderson/Francis Bossman
Reserves: Abdul Samad Okocha, Eben Dida and Abubakar Sulemana