Accra Hearts of Oak picked up their first away point on the road in dramatic fashion against Bibiani Stars on Saturday afternoon with a late Hamza Issah equalizer helping the Phobians in a 1-1 draw.
Hearts Of Oak had failed in their previous 2 away outings this season in Tamale and Sunyani with both games ending in defeats to Real Tamale United and Bofoakwa Tano respectively.
They came into the encounter against with a 0-0 home draw against Sarmatex and needed a reaction. But the needed reaction was not to come in the first half as both teams slugged it out and were pretty much even at the interval with no standout moment from the half.
The game will however turn on its head after the recess with Martin Karikari coming close with a low drilled effort which struck the post and went wide.
The Golden boys responded immediately at the other end with an opportunity of their own but Alex Aso’s effort was kept out by Hearts Of Oak’s Richmond Ayi.
The Phobians continued to look for the games opener and had the ball in the back of the net in the 67th minute courtesy Evans Adomako but the strike was ruled out for an offside by the assistant referee.
The level of excitement in the game went a notch higher in the dying embers of the game with Bibiani Gold stars breaking the deadlock in spectacular fashion; Appiah McCarthy free kick attempt from the edge of the box flew over the Hearts of Oak wall and Richmond Ayi to put Bibiani up with 5 minutes to spare.
The ‘never say die’ mojo of the phobians came to the fore in stoppage time with Hamza Issah benefiting from a long lofted free kick into the Bibiani box, of which goalkeeper Osei Yaw misjudged to guide his his header into an open goal hence snatching a point from the jaws of defeat.
Hamza’s first Hearts Of Oak goal was the last action in an eventful second half display from both sides.
Issah’s strike managed to earn Accra Hearts of Oak their first away points of the season, one which head coach Martin Koopman was delighted about.
“The performance was fantastic, so I’m very happy about that because we [spent] a long period in training, we [gave out] everything [we had] in the game and today you saw the players very motivated and sharp in everything. We come into the box only….we want to win but 1-1 here in this moment it’s okay.”
Koopman’s opposite number, Michael Osei was not so content with the games officiating and the draw played out at the Dun’s park as he expected his team to come out on top at the end of the game.
“I think the intensity of the game was very high, the both team display very well in the game but at the end I think we were the better side to win the game. We score a perfect free kick and then later on we concede such a goal that as a technical I will not understand how the referee should allow this goal but all the same we have to go back and watch this game and assess it, it’s not all well, the officiating.”
Hearts Of Oak find themselves in an unwanted spot with the Phobians lying in the relegation zone and face a tougher task in setting things right with defending champions Medeama SC their next opponent.
Story by: Andrews Sefa Bamfo | univers.ug.edu.gh