Match report: Wasteful Hearts of Oak held by Great Olympics in thrilling derby

Accra Hearts of Oak under flood lights on Sunday were unable to hold on to their advantage at the summit of the league table after their wastefulness cost them all three points in the thrilling derby with Accra Great Olympics.

With Kumasi Asante Kotoko defeating Ashgold in the Ashanti regional derby, the Phobians needed a win to maintain their two points lead at the summit, but they were denied by the host.

The game itself was preceded by an unfortunate incident which saw some section of fans forcefully breaking into the stadium.

Circulating video on social media afterwards showed the absence of security personnel at the gate and the inability of the steward to man the gate, allowing hundreds of fans to get into the venue.

The game, however, did not disappoint with both sides providing thrilling moments for the fans at the stadium, including Champions League winner Callum Hudson Odoi who was present.

In terms of personnel, Accra Hearts of Oak named an unchanged side from the one which defeated Liberty Professionals in the FA Cup, with Fatawu Mohammed captaining the side into the derby.

Great Olympics were also boosted by the presence of captain Gladson Awako who was released by the Black Stars to play in the all important fixture.

The Phobians began the game on the front foot, creating several half chances in the first and would have felt hard done by after the referee failed to award them a goal.

Isaac Mensah’s powerful strike hit the woodwork and appeared to have crossed the line but the goal was not given by the referee, generating debates for the urgent need of VAR.

However, the Phobians will go on to take the lead in similar fashion after the break.

Salifu Ibrahim’s corner in the 51st minute was parried away by goalkeeper Benjamin Asare but it only went as far as Emmanuel  Nertey who sent in a belter of a shot from about 35 yards out into the top corner.

Nertey who went on to win the Man of the match accolade applied great technique and composure on the ball to score a ‘goal of the season contender’ for the Phobians.

Samuel Boadu’s side then went went in search for a second and thrilled the fans in the process, with Barnie notably pulling off the Milo trick to the awe and amazement of the fans.

The Phobians’ wastefulness in front of goal came back to haunt them as Great Olympics capitalized on a defensive error from the left hand side of the Hearts defense to make the game level.

Kwabena Boateng delivered a pinpoint cross into the 18 yard box after winning the ball off a Phobian defender.

The beautiful cross was met by Maxwell Abbey Quaye who headed the ball onto the turf and into the net to make it almost impossible for Richard Attah to keep out.

That goal will go on to be the last of the game, as the sides shared the spoils in the derby.

While coach Samuel Boadu was left unhappy with the disallowed  goal and his side’s wastefulness, Olympics coach, Annor Walker was satisfied with the results as he praised the brilliance of the Hearts of Oak team.

The Phobians are still on top of the table but are now level with Kumasi Asante on 50 points while Accra Great Olympics are still in 4th place with 45 points after ending the rival’s 5-game winning run.