Soccer News Mon, 11 Mar 2002

African Club Competitions: Hearts In Shaky Start

Hearts of Oak (Gha) 1 (Laryea 25)
Stade Malien (Mli) 1 (Coulibaly 36)

Obuasi Goldfields (Gha) 4 (Boakye 25, Seidu 43, Awuah 60, Musa 65)
Satellite (Gui) 3 (Coulibaly 83, M.Camara 84, O.Camara 89)

Ghana's representatives at the African Club competitions, Accra Hearts of Oak and Obuasi Goldfields, both had a shaky start to this years championship.

The 2000 Champions League winners, hearts, were held 1-1 by unfancied Stade Malien from Mali in Accra on Sunday. While, Goldfields allowed Satellites Club of Guinea to pull three goals back after racing into a four nil lead.

Champions League
Ghana's representative in the sixth CAF's Champions League, Accra Hearts of Oak, made a shaky start in the 1/16th preliminary stage of the of the competition when they were held to a 1-1 drawn game by Stade Malien of Mali at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, and are unlikely to qualify to the money zone.

It would be the second year in succession if the Phobians fail to go past the first round of the preliminary stage. They were hit by a similar fate last year when Etoile du Congo knocked them out after conquering Africa in the year 2000. But it was clear from the kick off the absence of three-time goal king Ishmael Addo and his colleague Emmanuel Osei Kuffour who were very instrumental in the Hearts success story in 2000 was being felt.

Two players tasked to step into their shoes, Laryea Kingston and Awuley Quaye Junior, both midfielders but now being converted as attackers, could hardly pose any challenge to the youthful but very athletic Malians. The only bright spot in Hearts, Charles Taylor, who was a torn in the flesh of the visiting team in the early stages of the game was completely eclipsed after the recess as the lanky Malians, seven of who featured for their senior national team in CAN 2002 had a field day.

Barely eight minutes after kick off, Gueye Boubacar nearly silence the vociferous Hearts fans but his goal bound shot was scooped by Hassan Mohammed and in the 15th minute Traore Alain Cluade's cool tap from a lob was parried to safety by goalkeeper James Nanor. Kingston brought the fans to their feet with a scintillating back heel into the net after winger Don Bortey's splitting runs down the right flanks in the 23rd minute. An elated Kingston joined by his colleagues, celebrated the goal with an "ampe" while the fans cheered on.

But just after the goal, Kingston became more of a liability than an asset to his side such that all he could do was to foul his opponents while his partner up front Awuley Quaye was chasing his own shadow. Urged on by their Ghanaian Coach, Abdul Razak, the Malians turned the heat on the Phobians and in the 23rd minute Berthe Lassina out jumped Hassan in an aerial tussle, controlled the ball with the chest and fired a grounder into the far corner for the equalizer.

The stadium went dead immediately after the goal and then on, the Malians played with much confident to the chagrin of the fans. Suraju Mohammed, formerly of Real Tamale United who kept the post for the visitors was yellow carded for delays while Hassan had his turn a minute later for reckless tackle.

Emmanuel Donkor who came on for Awuley Quaye brought some excitements to his side and spearheaded a last minute onslaught but his efforts were thwarted by the gallant Malians. In the 89th minute, Kone Idrissa nearly shot his side up but fired off target with only goalkeeper Nanor to beat.

Line-up: (Hearts); James Nanor, Jacob Nettey, Richard Nii Noi, Mohammed Hassan, Daniel Quaye, Lawrence Adjah Tetteh/Massawudu Yahaya, Edmund Copson, Bernard Don Bortey, Laryea Kingston/George Eranio, Awuley Quaye Jnr/Emmanuel Donkor, Charles Taylor.

(Stade Malien) Suraju Mohamed, Cisse Baba, Diallo Boucader,Gueye Boubacar, Kone Iddrissa/Traore Braimah, Coulibally Drissa, kouma Alfouseyni, Dembelle Soulleymane/Bakayoko Doada, Berthe Lassina/Coulibally Henry, Fofana Sekou, Traore Alain Claude.

The result was a personal triumph for one of Ghana's favourite footballing sons, Abdul Razak (PIC), a former African Footballer of the Year who is now coach of the Malian side.

Ghana's representative in this year's CAF competition Obuasi Goldfields began their in-roads into Africa on bad note as they managed to a thin 4-3 win over Satellite Club of Guinea in their first match played at the Len Clay Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The score line was a disappointment for many fans who thronged the stadium while the Guineans jubilated in satisfaction with the results. It was Goldfields who took the lead in the 24 minute when Eric Boakye's freekick zoomed straight into the net for the opener. The goal galvanised the entire team as Goldfields probed for more.

In the 30th minute hard pressed Camara Musa's back pass fetched a corner to the miners but it was wasted. Undaunted the Ghanaians searched for more goals but wasted three cornerkicks in the 33rd, 41st and 42nd minutes. Goldfields raised the tally to two on the 45th minute mark when Asare Boateng stunned the stadium with a goal scored from the touchline.

In the 54th minute Eric Boakye was fouled by Signag Akua Nabeag and was shown the yellow card and Boakye's resultant freekick was connected by Frank Awuah. The Guineans substituted Signag with Ousmane Camara in the 60th minute but it

was Goldfields who scored four minutes later when Aminu Musah's strike found the net.

Goldfield became complacent in the last stages of the game and the Guineans took advantage of this to bang in three goals in the 79th, 80th and 89th minutes through Kaba Mara, Camara Mohammed and substitute Ousmane Camara.

Meanwhile, Kumasi Asante Kotoko will play Athletic Sonangol of Angola on Monday due to the late arrival of the Angolans. The match was scheduled for Sunday but a delayed flight prevented the Angolans from making it early to Ghana.

Cup Winners Cup
Ghana's third Continental hopeful, Kumasi Asante Kotoko take on Athletico Sanongol of Angola today at the Kumasi Sports Stadium. The match, originally scheduled for Sunday, had to be called off after the Angolans missed their flight from Johannesburg to Ghana. The team arrived in Accra on Sunday. Kick off is at 1800 GMT.

Source: .