By Anwar U. Larry from the Nduom Sports Stadium
Accra Hearts of Oak beat Elmina Sharks 2-0 at the Nduom Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Sharks were denied by the upright in the early minutes of the game but it was the closest they came all afternoon to ruffling the feathers of the resolutely stubborn Hearts defense.
Head Coach Frank Nuttall made a single change to the side that beat Young Wise in the last game. Leonard Tawiah returned to the starting XI in place of Daniel Kodie, who missed out on the match-day squad.
Team Hearts were without the services of Winful Cobbinah, who is on national duty with the Black Stars.
The hosts started the game quite brightly and dominated the early exchanges before they crushed a shot against the upright of Ben Mensah’s goal.
Hearts took time to settle but they opened the scoring against the run of play. Midfielder Malik Akowuah initiated the move by cleverly spreading play to Fatawu Mohammed on the right side. The right back sent in a quick cross that Sharks defender Ahmed Farouk failed to clear with Thomas Abbey lurking.
Abbey pounced on the ball in the box before intelligently lifting it past the hapless Francis Arthur with the outside of his foot in the 13th minute to open the scoring.
Four minutes later, a long punt upfield from Robin Gnagne was allowed to bounce by the Sharks defense. Kwame Kizito profited from the blunder and planted the ball home past goalkeeper Arthur again to double the visitors lead.
Sharks huffed and puffed in search of a consolation goal but they could not break the stubborn Hearts defense.
HEARTS XI vs SHARKS: Benjamin Mensah, Fatawu Mohammed, Kassenu Ghandy, Richard Akrofi, Vincent Atingah, Robin Gnagne, Leonard Tawiah, Patrick Razak (58 Cosmos Dauda), Malik Akowuah (95 SAmudeen Ibrahim), Kwame Kizito (79 Anthony Nimo), Thomas Abbey (c )
Unused substitutes: Samuel Akurugu, Robert Addo, Paul Acquah, Bright Lukman
Booked: Fatawu Mohammed (5)
GOALS: Thomas Abbey (13), Kwame Kizito (17)
SHARKS XI vs HEARTS: Francis Arthur, Suraj Ibrahim, Daniel Obeng, Farouk Adams (24 Kingsley Agyei), Evric Osei, Tetteh Nortey, Anthony Yerful (81 Benjamin Boateng), Joseph Mensah (55 Emmanuel Otoo), Joseph Dabitora, Benjamin Tweneboah
Unused substitutes: Joseph Essam, Emmanuel Addenton, Emmanuel Ampiah, Charles MacCarthy
MATCH REFEREE: Nathan Anafo