Accra Hearts of Oak had the maximum points after defeating visiting Sekondi Hasaacas 1-0 in an empty Accra Sports Stadium yesterday to maintain their hold on the top spot of the Premier League table.
Hearts who were ordered to play two matches behind closed doors as sanctions for crowd violence in their home match against Wa All Stars had to hang onto an eighth minute strike by midfielder Isaac Mensah for victory. Mensah’s surprise shot caught Hasaacas goalkeeper Michael Abu off guard, for their lone goal victory.
Very uncharacteristic of the Phobians this season, Coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi’s side failed to glitter, particularly in the second half,allowing Hasaacas to comfortably take control of the game and pin them to their half.
The visitors continued to probe for the equalising goal but the efforts of Saliu Babawo, Samuel Afful and Eric Bekoe — who was unimpressive and rather giving a lot of instructions as though he were the coach — the Hasmal lads could not find the back of the net. Bekoe was replaced by Emmanuel Ankobeah.
In the 79th minute, referee O.B. Amankwah overruled what could have been an equalising goal by Augustine Arhinful, whose free kick went through a forest of legs in the Hearts defence before hitting the back of the net. However to their dismay, referee Amankwah disallowed the goal following a signal by his assistant Malik Salifu.
The decision did not go down well with the players and officials of Hasaacas who vehemently protested but referee Amankwah stood his ground.