Hearts of Oak 1 Liberty 1: Phobians fail to complete double over city rivals

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The Phobians' aim of closing up the gap between them and leaders Wafa was dealt a blow after failing to win on Sunday

Hearts of Oak shared the spoils 1-1 with Liberty Professionals in matchday 16 of the Ghana Premier League at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The Phobians manager Frank Elliott Nuttall maintained his starting XI that defeated the visitors 3-0 in their reverse fixture while Liberty new coach Michael Osei made two changes to his side.

The first chance of the game fell to Hearts' striker Kwame Kizito by the 17th minute but his effort went wide.

On 24th minute, striker Samuel Yeboah surprisingly missed a sitter, when the supporters thought Hearts had finally taken the lead. Nuttall's men were awarded a free-kick after captain Thomas Abbey was brought down on the left flank, with Winful Cobbinah delivering the cross which Yeboah failed to head into an empty net.

Three minutes later, Bernard Arthur combined with Benjamin Eshun but the former's shot was blocked by Hearts left-back Kassenu Ghandi before Leonard Tawiah made a goal-line clearance from the resulting corner-kick.

However, the visitors finally found a breach in Hearts' backline and took the lead through Eshun on 34th minute. The diminutive striker capitalised on a miscommunication between defenders Vincent Atinga and Richard Akrofi to poke in Richard Kissi Boateng's cross.

Hearts pulled level 1-1 in additional time of the first half from the spot through Atinga after Razak was brought down by Liberty goalkeeper.

After the break, Liberty continued to cause troubles for Hearts defence, with captain Samuel Sarfo having his shot saved by Samuel Akurugu by the 49th minute.

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Eshun saw his diving header ruled offside by referee S.B Bortey and, despite their protest, the man in black declined to change his decision.

Cobbinah, Razak and substitute Cosmos Dauda were a thorn in the flesh of Liberty defenders but couldn't find any breakthrough. Dauda shot wide on 68th minute before seeing his header tipped for corner seconds later.

The best chance of the second half fell to Liberty's Arthur on 72 minute but the striker could not direct his effort into the goal post.

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