The Head Coach of Accra Hearts of Oak, Kim Grant, has attributed their narrow defeat at the Nduom Stadium in their match against Elmina Sharks to excessive heat, rough pitch at Nduom Stadium and lack of focus on the part of his players to bury the numerous goal-scoring opportunities that came their way.
An 83rd-minute goal converted by Sharks striker Felix Addo separated his side from visiting Accra Hearts of Oak who were looking for their second victory after they defeated Dreams FC 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, March 30.
After a fierce encounter in the first half where both teams failed to break the deadlock after creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities, Felix Addo finally broadened the smiles of their fans when he sneaked through his markers to tap home a rebound that gave Sharks the maximum points at stake.
Reacting to the defeat in a post-match interview, Grant said: “ My boys played very well, but it was a swift counter-attack by Sharks that cost us the maximum points.”
Commenting on the temperature, he noted: “The heat also played a part to affect our play. It was very very hot today and very dry, so the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has to do something about it.”
He said, “I think we are sitting on the welfare of the players who became dehydrated, which is my concern. Both teams were very lethargic because of the intervals of playing in the competition which is three days apart.”
He said in spite of that, the players were presented with opportunities to win the match, but they failed to take it, leading to their defeat against the run of play.
For his part, Yaw Acheampong of Elmina Sharks said their victory over Accra Hearts of Oak was a result of tactical discipline exhibited by his players.
“We knew the opposition we would encounter so we adopted a strategy which was strictly adhered to, and the instructions on the sideline to goad the boys also yielded positive results,” Coach Acheampong told the media in a post-match interview in Elmina.
“The players were doing exactly what I asked them to do and with the match over, we are gearing up for our next match against Inter Allies to see how it goes.”
According to the coach, the absence of competitive football for almost a year had had a negative effect on the players.
“We are now experiencing match fitness on the part of the players. While some of the players are struggling to build their stamina, others experience heavy feet when they play for some time, and this affects cohesion and the flow of the game, so we have to control them on the touchline. I believe that as the competition progresses, they will live up to expectation to make the Special Competition very attractive.”