Hearts fans go violent after drawn game with Chelsea
The fans who were distraught by yet another draw, their fourth in succession, besieged the pitch few moments after Takoradi-based referee S. B. Bortey had brought proceedings to an end.
The result clearly puts Hearts’ League ambition of staying top of the league hanging by a thread with archrivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s game against Sekondi Hasaacas scheduled for the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi rained off.
Hearts maintained their hold on the top spot on 48 points, but Kotoko are likely to overtake them when if they are able to chalk victory against Hasaacas on Thursday.
Hundreds of Hearts fans, some of whom squeezed their way beneath the bullet-proof mini-gates stormed the pitch much to the chagrin of all.
Their target was the 32-year old referee Bortey, whose interpretation of the rules of the game apparently went contrary to the supporters’ expectations.
As a result of the pitch invasion, the Chelsea players were held hostage for close to 10 minutes, before they were escorted to the dressing room by a ring of concerned Hearts fans and a few Police Officers around.
Security personnel, who were outnumbered by the enraged fans called for reinforcement.
The match saw visiting Chelsea the dominant side in a game both sides struggled with ball control on the soggy pitch that made ball control very difficult.
Chelsea who beat Hearts 2-0 in the first round meeting was the comfortable side between the two, dominating the midfield but with less meaningful impact at goal.
Rasta-haired Ibrahim Issaka almost put the visitors in the lead seven minutes from time but his header after beating onrushing Hearts goalie Philemon McCarthy missed target by inches.
Hearts resumed from the recess an improved side with Captain Eric Nyarko breaking the deadlock on the hour mark with a shot from his unflavoured left foot.
Chelsea quickly responded when Abdul Basit got the equalizer on 68 minutes, after he beat a sloppy Osei Bonsu to slot the ball past McCarthy from a counter to send the stadium to dead silence.