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League Report of Sunday, 7 March 2010

Source: GNA

Hearts of Oak pip city rivals Great Olympics

Accra, March 7, GNA - Defending League champions Accra Hearts of Oak recorded a lone goal victory over city rivals Accra Great Olympics in the 21st Week Premier League match at the Ohene Djan Stadium, Accra on Sunday. It was a game of equal strength, especially in the first half as they both sides struggled to assume dominance, but it was Olympics who came close to finding the opener few minutes after the blast of the whistle. This was after Daniel Asamoah was presented with a begging chance in front of goal with only keeper Baba Sampana to beat but the striker failed to make the needed connection.

Hearts Tuaha Khamix's response 11 minutes later was met with a spectacular display of good goalkeeping by Olympics Ben Mensah, whilst his opposite colleague Sampana who responded positively to a duty call with a fine save from another goal bound drive by Bilal Mohamed in the 25th minute. The Phobians from then assumed slight control of the game with midfielders Obed Ansah and Esme Mends providing a lot of arsenals for Eric Gawu, Samuel Affum and Richard Atika to convert into goals whilst Olympics struggled to control the pace of the game.

With constant raids into the Olympic defence, Hearts succeeded in putting the ball at the back of the net courtesy Affum, who after receiving a ball from Mends raced ahead of the defence men of Olympics to beat keeper Mensah on the run to slot in the lone goal in the 32nd minute, which eventually became the match winner.

Affum should have made it two seven minutes later when he delivered an intelligent drive but keeper Mensah was on hand to deny him a brace. Efforts by the Wonder Club to redeem their image was blown off when they were reduced to ten men three minutes before the close of the half, after Edmund Sakyi visited a violent tackle on Khamix.

With ten men, Hearts was expected to dominate in the second half, but it was the opposite, as the "Dade Boys" dominated the entire duration of the second half but were just unfortunate in front of goal to get the needed equaliser.

Olympics came close to cancelling the lead on several occasions especially with the introduction of Mawuli Tuglo who brought on some urgency upfront for his side as they succeeded in creating chances for Asamoah and Malik Akowuah in the 59th and 64th minute of the game but without the needed final touch.

Hearts on the other hand initiated a swift move with Ansah combining effectively with Benjamin Boateng, whose beautiful set up was blasted off target by Richard Atika in the 66th minute.

The "Dade Boys", however, never gave up in their search for the equaliser and dominated the last 15 minutes of the game only to gift away several scoring chances, whilst Hearts held on to their thin lead and clearing all dangerous balls in their area.

In one of such clearance saw substitute Hamza Abdulai breaking off into the Olympics defence and was brought down in the 18 yard box compelling referee Thomas Nunoo to give a penalty to Hearts with some few minutes left to complete the four minutes of added time.

Ansah's kick hit the goal posts and a rebounded into play for the midfielder to zoom the ball into the goal, but for referee Mensah to rule it illegal after which he brought proceedings to an end with many questioning the decision.