Hearts of Oak ascends league log amidst drama and controversy

Accra Hearts of Oak realized their dream of ascending the Premier League log before their 100th birthday with a 2-0 win over New Edubiase United at the Accra Stadium on Sunday evening but not without drama and controversy.

Hearts, prior to the start of the season vowed to be on top of the table before their 100th birthday, which was scheduled to fall on Friday, November 11, as they charted their path to victory from the 17th minute through a relentless effort from a hardworking Uriah Asante.

Asante who was lurking around the goal area of the opponents pounced on a cross from Mahatma Otoo and delivered a shot which keeper Eric Nii Baah fumbled to grab for the first time, with the ball falling on the ambitious player’s way again for him to easily go around the keeper to slot in the opener.

Even though a goal up, it was New Edubiase who dominated proceedings with swift inter-positional play, but always found it difficult breaking the defence of Hearts as Emmanuel Baffoe and Stephen Manu were always given adequate marking by Osei Bonsu and Philip Boampong at the rear of Hearts.

Hearts, who prior to the match shared the top spot with arch-rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko, were keen on winning the day following an earlier drop in points by Kotoko  to be inspired to protect their lone goal till the close of the first half.

On resumption of the second half, Edubiase proved to the dominant side, as they kept Hearts under serious pressure in search of the goal, but again, the attacking machinery of the visitors was not sharp enough to cancel the lead as Baffoe’s header in the 50th minute was pushed to corner and subsequently wasted by the visitors.

In the 52nd minute, Baffoe’s attempt at cancelling the lead was again blocked by the dependable Bonsu leaving the scores on level terms.

Drama, however, unfolded in the 83rd minute, when Hearts scored their second goal. This was after Tagoe had volleyed in a cross from Bobbie Ansah, which hit beneath the cross bar before dropping on the goal line and the effort was ruled as legal by assistant Referee One, Gideon O. Boateng, compelling center referee Cecil Fletcher to point to the center spot for Hearts second goal amidst protest from the Edubiase team and their technical bench .

The decision to award the goal infuriated Edubiase’s keeper Nii Baah, who rushed onto the linesman to be joined by his colleagues to attack the assistant referee in protest against the goal.

But for the swift intervention of the Police on duty, it could have been a chaotic situation as officials of Edubiase and players fumed in anger over the controversial goal.

When reason finally prevailed, Hearts from then took control of the rest of the game and pressured the visitors for another goal but that could not materialize till the final whistle.

Hearts have thus moved to the top of the table with 13 points followed by Kotoko with two points behind after they were held one all by Berekum Arsenals at the Golden City Park, Berekum.

Source: GNA

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