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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hearts of Oak stay top of Ghana Premier League following win over Legon Cities; Ebusua Dwarfs move out of relegation zone with win

Accra Hearts of Oak prevailed in a difficult match against fellow capital-based side Legon Cities on Thursday to do their part in staying at the top of the table in the Ghana Premier League table, winning 1-2 against the in form side to set up a rivalry match on Sunday against Asante Kotoko that will have major title implications. Kojo Obeng Junior and Frederick Ansah scored in the first half and the Phobians held off a charge from Legon Cities to get the all important three points, putting them ahead of Kotoko on goal differential.

Legon Cities had full aspirations of spoiling Hearts’ excellent form, particularly Niger international forward Victorien Adebayor. Adebayor cut inside from the right flank in the early proceedings and unleashed a curling effort that beat Hearts keeper Richard Attah but bounced off the crossbar and over the goal. Hearts found the opening goal in the 29th minute through brilliant play. Patrick Razak put in a well weighted ball to find Africa U-20 Cup of Nations champion Daniel Afriyie, who left a couple of Legon defenders in his wake to do all the work before cutting the ball across to Kojo Obeng Junior for his 9th goal of the season, an easy finish.

About ten minutes later the Phobians found their second goal following a corner kick. The corner was cleared out to the edge of the area by Legon Cities but Frederick Ansah, making his first appearance in nearly three months, ran onto and pounded a low first time shot that left went through the crowd and left Legon keeper Sylvester Sackey with no chance.

Adebayor would not let Hearts get away with victory so easily, however. The attacker curled in a bouncing free kick from the right wing that landed in the perfect spot to leave keeper Attah in a tough spot and unable to read the ball before it surged by him as it went through the crowd of players in his penalty area. Legon Cities attempted to desperately push on further for an equalizer but the organized Hearts defense was superb in seeing the victory out.

Earlier in the day, a relegation zone clash ended with victory for hosts Ebusua Dwarfs over last placed International Allies, winning by a 1-0 scoreline. George Asamoah scored his third goal of the season before ten minutes were gone with Dwarfs getting out on the break and a pass inside finding Asamoah, who faked out an Inter Allies defender to cut onto his left foot and unleash a splendid curling effort from just beyond the box that left goalkeeper Gideon Ahenkorah helpless.

Inter Allies committed a handball in the penalty area in the second half, giving Dwarfs a chance to put the match away but Ahenkorah came up big to deny the spot kick from captain Dennis Korsah. Despite the momentum boost, Inter Allies were unable to find their way back into the match and now look certain to be relegated following the defeat.

Highlights from both matches are below.

Legon Cities 1-2 Hearts of Oak

Ebusua Dwarfs 1-0 Inter Allies