Hearts In Conroversial Win
The ugly face of soccer was witnessed at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium when fans of Accra Hearts of Oak, incensed by what they termed bias officiating by referee Richard Kwarning from Nsawam, pelted the playing pitch with ice water sachets in a GT Premier League match which saw Hearts fight from behind to win 3-2 on Sunday.
The ugly scenes started during the interval when Alhaji Karim Grunsah, founder of King Faisal, whose team was then a goal down harassed the referee for what he termed bias officiating, drawing a reaction from some officials of the home team.
Things got worse after Faisal drew level and went ahead with two well-taken goals by Sumaila Alhassan within a two-minute blitz in the second half.
Referee Kwarning then became the centre of scorn for the home fans while Faisal's lead lasted, as they pelted the playing field with sachets of water anytime a decision went against Hearts.
The match itself started on a very fast note, as the two teams massed up in the midfield cancelling each other out, resulting in occasional breaks into the defensive third of the other.
The first sniff at goal came in the 10th minute when George Eranio, making a come back to Hearts after three seasons outside the capital, provided a decent cross from the left, which Prince Tagoe failed to connect.
Hearts, from then on appeared to have settled better than Faisal and it was not surprisingly when in the 17th minute, Solomon Okutu who was making his home debut after playing his first game for the Phobians against RTU redirected a Don Bortey cross with a glancing header to the far corner of the net.
Faisal immediately took control of proceedings thereafter and in the 20th minute, a free kick by Abubakar Yahuza flew just past the post. In the 28th minute Faisal should have equalised when a quick exchange of passes between Yahuza and Eric Gawa left Kwabina Boateng unmarked, with the goal at his mercy, but the striker shot wide.
On the stroke of half time, Faisal nearly drew level when a snap shot by Yahuza, caught Mohammed Saani in post for Hearts off guard. The second half had just started when Faisal, who were clearly on top going into the break, drew level through a low drive from Alhassan, after Yahuza had been brought down in front of the penalty box.
A miscommunication between Dan Quaye and Kwabena Boafo in the 50th minute was exploited by Yahuza who raced all alone before releasing a shot, which Saani failed to save first time and Alhassan who was lurking around slotted in Faisal's second and his personal second of the game. From then, fans of Hearts had to be restrained on a number of occasions, as they pelted the officials with bags of water at any call that did not go in their favour.
But from a free kick in the 58th minute, Hearts equalised when George Eranio headed in, as the ball broke to him during a melee. Hearts, in the 72nd minute, introduced Issah Mohammed who they registered late in the week, for Prince Tagoe and within three minute of being on the field, the former Hasaacas striker scored Hearts third when he broke from the half way mark and played a one, two with Eranio before slotting the ball into the back of the net.
The goal brought a barrage of protests from officials of Faisal led by Alhaji Grunsah who rushed unto the field to challenge the referee after their claim for a handball by Issah Mohammed was ignored.
It took some five minutes for normalcy to be restored and in the 81st minute Faisal suffered another set back when Kwabena Poku was red carded for a karate kick on Hearts substitute Prince Bobby Sonah. Though with a man down, Faisal nearly drew level on the stroke of full time but for a timely save by Saani to deny Alhassan his third goal.