A second half penalty by Robin Gnagne ensured that the Phobians remain in a pole position as the race between them and Heart of Lions for a second Champions League slot heats upHearts of Oak are in line for next season’s Caf Champions League slot after beating Bechem United 2-1 at the Accra Stadium on Sunday.
A second half penalty by Robin Gnagne ensured that the Phobians remain in a pole position as the race between them and Heart of Lions for a second Champions League slot heats up.
The crucial victory also returned the Phobians to winning ways after going three games without a win as well as ease incessant pressure on beleaguered coach Mohammed Polo.
Enterprising midfielder Emmanuel Hayford poked the homesters in front with a second minute header. Owusu Bempah won the first corner kick of the game for Hearts after his shot was blocked, Winful Cobinnah effected the kick but Hayford rose beyond his markers and perfectly headed the ball inside to give the Phobians the better start they anticipated. Bechem United accepted the challenge and threw more men forward and they eventually drew even five minutes later in a fashionable style.
Midfielder Prosper Donkor, who was making his second start of the season in the absence of Noah Martey, sent in a thunderbolt from 30 yards outside the penalty area which completely beat Tetteh Lugard. Hearts puffed and hugged but former starlets goalkeeper Ernest Adu almost stood in between Hearts of Oak and victory with series of outstanding saves until Gnagne who had returned from a one-game ban stole all the points for the Phobians with 15 minutes to play from the spot. Bechem United captain James P.Y Yeboah was adjudged to have fouled Cobbinah in the penalty area, the Ivorian stepped up and expertly sent the goalkeeper to the wrong side to win the game for the Phobians with his fourth goal of the term from the spot.
Bechem United missed their talisman Augustine Okrah with Toafeek Ayinla Saani and substitute Charles Dwamena lacking ideas upfront. Bright Nsiah had the last chance for the Hunters but his powerful strike was saved by Lugard. Hearts' home performance prior to the game ranked them second from the bottom [15th] on the home league log with just 18 points from 36 points at home whiles Bechem United had lost on all their trips to the capital this season.
Hearts of Oak are now in second position and are hoping to return to continental action next season after amassing 41 points from 26 games.