Accra, April 24, GNA – Hearts of Oak beat Liberty Professionals 3-1 for their first away win of the season with captain Mahatma Otoo netting a brace in a mid-week Glo Premier League duel.
Sadat Karim was the other scorer for Hearts whilst hosts Liberty, who ended the game with 10-men found consolation in Kennedy Ashia’s second half strike.
Liberty let Hearts off the hook on many occasions after the latter’s disappointing second half output in the Week 23 encounter held at the Sly Tetteh Stadium, Dansoman.
The Phobians were the better side in the first half which ended 2-0 in their favour, but were ordinary in the latter stages despite the numerical disadvantage of the homers.
The hosts got off well but it was Hearts who shot into the lead capitalising on the defensive lapses of their hosts. Veteran David Addo, Alfred Nelson and Ghandy Kassenu struggled to cope with the pace of Otoo, coupled with the assistance of the skillful Wilfred Cobbina.
On 12 minutes, Otoo found Karim to notch home the opener before Otoo capitalised on a blunder by Kassenu to fire the second 11 minutes later. The Liberty left back gifted Otoo a pass meant for a colleague, and the Hearts captain slammed in past Daniel Agyei.
Liberty were to suffer their biggest pain as right back Atta Kusi was sent off for a foot-up challenge on Thomas Abbey just before half time.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Liberty dictated the pace after the break as substitute Ofoe Ofosu made up for the gap at the right back. On 59 minutes, petit midfielder Kwame Boahene exposed Hearts’ goalie Tetteh Lugard, with a teasing shot which bounced off the crossbar into the arms of Lugard.
A minute on, Ashia reduced the deficit with a lone range shot which Lugard surprisingly failed to make a firm grab, aiding the ball into his net with parried effort.
Six minutes later, Otoo punished the Liberty defence for yet another loss of concentration.The Hearts captain was gifted of a loose ball, rounded Agyei before slotting into the yawning net for his 13th goal of the season.
Liberty were denied a last-gasp goal after James Kotey’s screamer kissed the crossbar, with Lugard completely beaten.