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03.07.2005 Sports News

Liberty Crash Lions

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At the Ohene Djan Sports stadium in Accra, Kpando Heart of Lions suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Dansoman-Liberty Professionals, who hammered them 4-1 in the 12th week GT Premier League match on Sunday. Lions, who until recent times had enjoyed a smooth sailing in the Premiership could have avoided the first three goals in the first half but had to succumb to unpardonable defensive and goalkeeping errors, which allowed Michael Helegbe to record a brace with Agyemang Hanson recoding the fourth goal.

The visitors, who prior to the first goal had matched the home team on equal strengths, suffered from loose marking, which paved the way for Helegbe to tap in a cross from Felix Baffoe in the 18th minute after keeper Mozart Adjetey had failed to make a first time grab of the ball. Helegbe was on target again in the 41st minute when he capitalised on another defensive blunder to squeeze the ball into a tight angle for the second goal of the day, after which Hanson made it three on the stroke of the first half when Yussif Issah failed to head out a float into their vital goal area.

Lions coach, J.E. Sarpong was compelled to make two substitutions on resumption of the second half by introducing Benin International keeper, Rachad Chatou for Adjetey who had a terrible day and also sent on Kweku Andoh for Issah to strengthen his defence. The coach however lost his skilful and inspirational skipper, Obed Ansah through injury in the course of the half. The presence of keeper Chatou brought some stability in the goal posts of the visitors as he managed to save three goal bound shots from Baffoe, Kofi Nti and Helegbe. Liberty never relented in their efforts to increase the tally and subjected their opponents to intense pressure but squandered most of the chances that came their way.

Helegbe, however, made amends in the 76th minute when he crowned a great day with a thunder bolt shot on the run, which hit the cross before dropping into the net to become the second player to record a hat trick in the premiership after Lions' Sadat Bukari. The player was rewarded with the award of 'best player of the match' by Ghana Telecom, sponsors of the Premier League as well as the Panasonic Player of the match award. Lions, in the dying minutes of the game however managed to get a consolation goal from Ibrahim Sulemana in 87th minute when he rose above the defence of Liberty to head home a cross from Eric Bekoe.

In another development, Real Tamale United (RTU) beat Accra Hearts of Oak by lone goal at the Tamale Kaladan Park.

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