Confederation Cup Preview: Hearts of Oak braced for Olympique de Ngor test

Hearts of Oak

Hearts of Oak

Hearts of Oak hope to continue their fine run against Senegalese opponents when they host Olympique de Ngor in the Confederation Cup first qualifying round first leg tie at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The 2004 champions have won five, drawn two, and lost once in eight meetings with sides from the West African coast.

Hearts knocked out AS Police in the two-legged preliminary round encounter about a fortnight ago, winning by a lone goal in Accra to progress by a 1-0 aggregate score.

Soulama Abdoulaye was the hero in the return league in Cotonou, saving a penalty in the first half that secured Hearts a draw and progression to the second round.

The former Asante Kotoko goalkeeper has added vital experience to the goalkeeping department of the team and he will have to continue to exhibit his best form to deny the N’gor a sniff at goal in Accra.

Ivorian defender and team captain Robin Gnagne will also be responsible for marshalling the defense together with Philip Boampong, Shaun Mason October, and Fatau Mohammed.

Youngster Fatau Mohammed has put no foot wrong having filled in at right back in the absence of Owusu Bempah, who is on duty with the Ghana U20s.

Coach Herbert Addo has a welcome problem at left back, with both Isaac Oduro and Shaun October vying for a starting berth on the left side of defense.

The former Okwahu United defender, Oduro, has been involved in three of the last four games, and has scored two goals – a penalty against Istanbul in the Elite Cup and a delicate free-kick against Aduana in the league, but it is likely South African October will start ahead of his colleague.

In midfield, Richard Yamoah has been excellent in recent weeks together with Leonard Tawiah and the duo have given the team a strong base in the heart of midfield.

On the flanks, youngster Isaac Mensah and Paul Acquah, have been in great form but their recent performances is yet to yield ago.

Gilbert Fiamenyo has not scored in Africa, but we are hopeful that statistic will change come Sunday evening.

Selasi Adjei has been the lone score in Africa for Hearts, but Herbert Addo’s side will have to take their chances on Sunday to end the tie in Accra before the return encounter a fortnight later.

Olympique de Ngor, on the other hand, accounted for the heads of Unisport Bafang of Cameroon in the first round.

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