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Hearts take 10-man All Stars down

Hearts of Oak recorded their third victory on Wednesday, sweeping aside Wa All Stars 3-1 in a matchday six fixture of the 2017/18 Ghana Premier League at Cape Coast.

The Phobians shrugged off a heavy defeat at Berekum Chelsea from their last game with two first half goals from Selasie Bakai and Joseph Esso after a slow start to the game. All Stars pulled one back through Kingsley Osei before Cosmos Dauda capped off the victory.

Wa All Stars set out with the plan of hitting Hearts on the break and so kept inviting pressure. The home side started getting closer but they were at times guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net till the 20th minute.

Joseph Esso, with his back to goal and three defenders for company, released Selasie inside the box and the youngster made no mistake as he took it first time by blasting home to open the scoring. It was Selasie’s first ever strike for the first team.

Hearts did not sit back on their lead and started knocking again at the All Stars defense. The visitors had a good chance to draw level when debutant Isaac Mintah picked up Jeffrey Degorl at the back post with a neat cross but Fatawu Mohammed intercepted as the winger shaped to head home.

Wa All Stars right back Issahaku Zakaria was having a hard time dealing with the direct pace of the Phobians and he became the first player to be booked when he brought down Esso on a Hearts break in the 29th minute.

Five minutes later, he’s off. Hearts had initiated a brilliant passing move involving four players. Agyare to Fatawu to Esso and Selasie and back, but Daniel Kordie was cleverly tripped by Zakaria as he followed a cross from Esso. And although the ball was moving away from goal, center referee Timothy Obuobisa had seen enough to point to the spot and flash a second yellow to the All Stars defender.

Esso stepped up and blasted home from the spot the second goal of the day in the 35th minute.

Buoyed by the goal, Hearts kept holding the ball and not rushing things to go into the break with a two-goal cushion. The only blemish of that half was Samudeen taking a heavy knock.

The Northern Blues threw men forward and put the Phobians under pressure. They left spaces at the back as well but Razak could not hit target after rounding the keeper on a Hearts break.

Hearts switched off momentarily and they were punished when Fatawu brought down his man in the box. Osei fired the penalty past Ben Mensah in the 58th minute.

Coach Wellington threw on Cosmos as the Phobians doubled their efforts to restore their two goal cushion and the striker repaid the faith by netting exactly 12 minutes after his introduction. He beat the offside trap before prodding the ball past the hapless Seidu Rashid in goal for Allstars in the 75th minute.

Hearts were not too free-flowing in the ensuing minutes but they had done enough to return to winning ways. The Phobians now sit third on the log with 10 points.



Hearts XI: Benjamin Mensah – Fatawu Mohammed, Robert Addo, Inusah Musah (c), Benjamin Agyare, Aminu Alhassan, Daniel Kordie, Samudeen Ibrahim/46’ Isaac Mensah, Joseph Esso, Selasie Bakai/63’ Cosmos Dauda, Patrick Razak/85’ Malik Akowuah

Unused subs: Theophilus Jackson, Joshua Otoo, Evans Quao, Christopher Bonney

Wa All Stars XI: Rashid Seidu – Moses Nyarko, Zakaria Issahaku, Wahidu Mumuni, Issahaku Konda, Nafiu Iddrisu, Isaac Mintah/37’ Yahya Adraman, Kingsley Osei, DAvid Abagna/56’ Ibrahim Yusif, Seth Amoateng, Jeffrey Degorl.

Unused subs: Prosper Gbeku, Rashid Alhassan, Jamal Haruna, Mohammed Aminu




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