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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Sunday’s last gasp equalizer maintains Hearts of Oak’s three point lead at top of Ghana Premier League

Accra Hearts of Oak had an opportunity to all but put the Ghana Premier League title away on Sunday following Asante Kotoko’s draw against King Faisal, but the Phobians let their level drop a bit and needed a goal in the final minute of second half stoppage time to draw Ebusua Dwarfs. Kojo Obeng Junior’s equalizer maintains Hearts’ 10-match unbeaten run and three point gap on Kotoko with each team having two games remaining in the season.

Hearts came out on the road at the Cape Coast Stadium looking to get the job done and obtain the opening goal to push on for three points, but they ran into a Ebusua Dwarfs team determined to push further away from the relegation zone. Victor Aidoo had the first opportunity for the visitors when he received a bouncing free kick with his back to goal, but the forward who struck twice in the first meeting between the teams earlier this season sent his effort high over the bar. Not long after a Salifu Ibrahim corner kick found Benjamin Afutu but the midfielder’s header rebounded back off the post before being cleared by the Dwarfs defense.

Dwarfs were in the match by halftime and after the break came out swinging with urgency. After both teams traded some half chances throughout the second half, the hosts found a surprise opener late on that looked to be the difference. An 85th minute free kick outside the Hearts penalty area was backheeled into the path of Dwarfs captain Dennis Korsah-Akoumah and the defender unleashed a stinging effort that bounced off the post and into keeper Richard Attah’s goal.

The league leaders desperately sent numbers forward to find an equalizer and had a couple of looks from distance that were not far off. However, a win on the day was not meant to be for Dwarfs as a long diagonal cross from Fatawu Mohammed was thrown into the box and Obeng Junior got a foot to the ball, sending it towards the far post and just past Dwarfs keeper Bright Quaye. Quaye perhaps could have done better but it was of no concern to Hearts, who were grateful to have salvaged a point on the day.

In the earlier televised match from WAFA Park in Sogakope, Liberty Professionals came out on top in an entertaining thriller against free falling Karela United, winning 3-2 to climb themselves out of the relegation zone. Both teams tuned in and out of the match, particularly Liberty Professionals as they would go ahead just to lose focus and concede an equalizer. However, the Dansoman-based club got it together after conceding in the 69th minute and Evans Owusu provided the winner five minutes later, after which Professionals held on firmly. The relegation battle continues to heat up in the GPL with only four points separating the last relegated team, King Faisal, from Ashanti Gold in 9th place.

Highlights of both televised games are below.

Ebusua Dwarfs 1-1 Hearts of Oak

Liberty Professionals 3-2 Karela United