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Soccer News of Monday, 24 February 2003

Source: GNA

Hearts, Kotoko make good start at LG Top 4

The two most glamorous clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko scored five goals between them in the opening matches of the LG Top Four Competition on Sunday.

Hearts halted Liberty Professional's dominance with two unanswered goals, one in each half, while Kotoko brushed aside their transitional problems to register a convincing 3-1 thrashing of Accra Great Olympics at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

The competition which features the four top clubs at the end of the last league season, rewarded two defenders at the end of the first matches - Joe Hendricks of Kotoko and back-to-batten Amankwa Mireku of Hearts were crowned the best players of the crunched matches where the stadia were packed to capacity.

Hearts shot ahead barely 10 minutes after kick off with a beautiful well-calculated goal from Wisdom Abbey who rose to head home a Dan Quaye's inswinger while substitute Adja Tetteh made victory certain with just a minute to go.

But those goals were to bring out best in Liberty who had beaten the Phobians in their last two encounters at the Accra Sports Stadium.

William Tiero, good-old Ablade Morgan and Jonathan Quartey run amok the Hearts defence but were unable to find the equaliser.

Mireku and former player of Obuasi Goldfields Princeton Owusu Ansah and huge framed Kwabena Boafo were the pillars at the rear of Hearts, doing all the damages.

Liberty played a more fluent, exciting game while Hearts played a more typical British style- taking the opponents on the break.

Don Bortey could not live up to the media hype but the match unveiled some budding talents, substitute Asamoah Djan of Liberty, Masawudu Mumuni and Frank Osei of Hearts showed some promises while goalkeeper Cudjoe Addo of Liberty was agile.

Kotoko played with virtually the old guards scoring once in the first half and adding another in the second half. Olympics' coach Duncan who had promised his partisan fans victory could only pull one back while Kotoko's Godwin Ablordy saw his first half penalty kick missed for the first time in several years.

Pocket-sized Stephen Odoru (18th), Frank Osei (55th minute) and Abedi Sarfo did the damage for Kotoko while "out-of-POP" Winfred Dormon pulled one back for Olympics in the 71st minute.

There were security lapses though at the Accra Stadium. Ticketless fans scaled over the wall into the stadium while security personnel apparently frightened by the ripples of the May 9 disaster, stood aloof.

The tournament continues on Saturday - Liberty play host Kotoko and on Sunday, Olympics welcome Hearts, all at the Accra Sports Stadium.