Sports News of Monday, 20 January 2020
Traditional, Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko grapped decisive victories yesterday to warm themselves for the biggest match on the 2019/2020 season, the much-anticipated clash between the country’s most successful sides on?Sunday at the Accra Sports Stadium.
While Hearts of Oak rallied from a goal down to beat Liberty Professional 2-1 at the Dansoman Carl Reindorf Park, the Porcupine Warriors comfortably silence Dwarfs 2-0 in an empty stadium at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The results have set the tone for another mouthwatering encounter between a resurgent Hearts side against a highly motivated Kotoko team looking for the bragging rights against their sworn rivals.
For Coach Maxwell Konadu’s side who bounced back yesterday after two consecutive losses in the league this season, Ghana’s version of ‘El Clasico’ next week could be a fine opportunity to apply the brakes on the Phobians who seem to have rediscovered their mojo and gone unbeaten in their last three games.
Interim coach Edward Odoom is gradually proving capable of turning the fortunes of Hearts around, having bounced back from two straight defeats to Berekum Chelsea and Medeama but his true test will come on Sunday as the outcome of the important clash could be a deciding factor in his future with the Phobians.
Yesterday’s encounters were a prelude to what was to be expected between the two sides, as Hearts’ Kofi Kordzi become the hero of his side after his powerful strike in the 88th minute dimmed the light of a determined Liberty side who took an early lead and were hoping to earn at least a point.
Two minutes earlier, substitute striker Bernard Atta had given the Hearts fans something to cheer about when he scored the equalising goal to cancel out Alhassan Mubarak’s opener in the first minute of the game.
Despite playing before an empty stadium, Coach Maxwell Konadu inspired Kotoko to return to winning ways with late goals from Matthew Anim Cudjoe (85th minute) and Richard Arthur (87th minute) to move Kotoko to the sixth position on the league log and consigning Dwarfs to the bottom position after five consecutive losses.
The last time Hearts and Kotoko clashed, the Porcupine Warriors run away 2-1 winners in the President’s Cup match in Kumasi last month.
Earlier last June, Kotoko had beaten Hearts in Accra on penalties in the semi-final of the Normalisation Committee Special Competition (Tier 1) in Accra.
In other results, Berekum Chelsea continued their perfect run in the league when they travel to beat Ashgold 1-0 at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium to occupy the top spot on the league log, Dreams FC slipped to the fifth position despite defeating Medeama 1-0 at the Dawu Park, while Aduana Stars beat Legon Cities 2-0 at Dormaa-Ahenkro.
Elmina Sharks shared honours with Great Olympic in a 1-1 draw game at the Dr Ndoum Sports Complex, Karela and King Faisal settled for a 1-1 draw at the Akoon Park at Tarkwa, Inter Allies dropped points against visiting WAFA in their 1-1 draw game at the Accra Sports Stadium.
On Saturday, league leaders Chelsea have a difficult task as they host second-placed Aduana Stars at the Golden City Park, struggling Ebusua Dwarfs will seek their first point of the season against Dreams FC at the Cape Coast Stadium, improving Great Olympics host Inter Allies at the Accra Sports Stadium.
On Sunday, Sharks travel to the Baba Yara Stadium to face Faisal, while Medeama SC entertain Ashgold at the Akoon Park
The sixth week matches start on Friday afternoon as WAFA host Liberty Professionals at the Redbull Arena, Sogakope, while Legon Cities host Bechem United at the Accra Stadium at 6pm.