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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Hearts of Oak escape from Techiman with three points thanks to shutout victory over Eleven Wonders

Kojo Obeng Junior’s goal was the difference maker for Accra Hearts of Oak in their tight 0-1 victory over Techiman Eleven Wonders on the road Friday, moving the Phobians into the top spot on the Ghana Premier League table for the first time in nearly five years. With four straight wins Hearts now have a one-point lead on eternal rivals Asante Kotoko, who will have a chance to take their top spot back with a positive result against West African Football Academy on Saturday.

Techiman is known for being a hostile place to play and the home crowd was in full voice with open viewing spots hard to find whenever the giants from the capital city come to town. Eleven Wonders’ high defensive line contributed to a shaky start and Hearts found the opener in the 26th minute from a defensive mistake. Following the clearance of a Hearts corner kick, a high header was sent back into the Eleven Wonders penalty area and bounced between the goalkeeper and defender Mohamed Tetteh Nortey. Tetteh Nortey attempted to chest the ball to keeper Abdulai Ibrahim but he was unaware of a lurking Obeng Junior, who snuck in to poke the ball into the net before Ibrahim could reach the pass.

From then on the hosts played inspired football at times, generally having the better of play with some slick combination play but were substantially lacking in ideas when confronted by a stern Phobians defense in the final third. Eleven Wonders thought they had a good shout for a penalty kick in the 41st minute but the referee waived play on despite replays showing a Techiman shot hitting a Hearts defender in the arm. Credit must go to Hearts of Oak, who did not play at their ideal level but did well to manage the game and hold firm whenever the situation required it. In the end Eleven Wonders’ poor end product in the final third resulted in them being shutout on their home turf.

Video of Kojo Obeng Junior’s goal is below and further below is the controversial moment that had Eleven Wonders players, staff and fans screaming for a penalty kick to be awarded.