Last edited: 2003-10-01
The 1977 El-Wak Miracle Match
Graphic Headline: Great Hearts --Now for Final
Hearts 3: Mufulira 0
Story by: Ken Bediako
After two unsuccessful attempts, Ghana’s champion club, Accra Hearts of Oak are in the final of the African Clubs championships for the first time.
Hearts, who gave themselves the title of “Continental Club Masters” even before the preliminaries, reached the final at the expense of Mighty Mufulira Wanderers of Zambia, with an authoritative 3-0 victory at El-Wak yesterday.
The Zambians beat Hearts 5-2 in the first leg in Lusaka two weeks ago, and Hearts needed nothing short of a 3-0 victory yesterday. But they really made heavy weather of it.
After a drab first half performance, in which keeper Suppey was left at the mercy of the fast running Zambians, it seemed most unlikely that Hearts could achieve their target in 45 minutes. But they made it through three sparkling goals by Anas (2) and Peter Lamptey (1).
And who now doubts that Mohammed Polo is Hearts of Oak? The 22 year-old Nima-Born dribbling magician made all the difference in the Hearts team yesterday.
With pure ball sense, Polo hovering all over the place had a hand in all the three goals.
The first came in the 59th minute from an indirect free kick. Polo gave a gentle kick with his magic left foot and Anas fired in a cracker through the tick wall put up by the Zambians.
It was a beautiful ground shot which atoned for atoned for two open chances Anas threw away a few minutes to the interval.
Inspired, Hearts attacked in burst but they had very little support from Egyptian referee Hussein Fahmy who ignored several infringements against the visitors – even in the penalty box. The offside trap set by Mufulira also worked well.
It took Hearts another 20 minutes before their second goal came. Polo, as usual mesmerized the visitors’ defence and his computerized pass went straight to the itching feet of Peter Lamptey. The former goal king, whose main role in Hearts team is to put the ball in the net did just that. He anticipated a faulty move by the goalie and he quickly flicked the ball to the blind side amid deafening cheers.
Eleven minutes to go and Hearts needed one goal to remain in the competition. They pressed hard, forcing a series of corner-kicks but the Egyptian officials were detailed to handle this match because of allegation made against the Ethiopian referee who handled the Hearts-El-Ahly match last month. Their behaviour therefore was not surprising.
As the minutes ticked by it was obvious that the Zambians were playing for tie and but Hearts did not lose hope.
Polo once again struck. He collected a ball from midfield and put Mama Acquah through. Veteran Mama very typical of his ‘bombing’ days dashed to the right flank with the speed of a world class sprinter. He beat the entire defence in the process and his diagonal pass went straight to on-rushing Anas Seidu who had the easy duty of banging the ball into the yawning net, two minutes to time.
There was class about this goal and it is only fitting that it has sent Hearts into the final, the first Ghanaian club after Kotoko to reach this stage.
Hearts: Suppey; Aryee Quaye; Ofei Ansah; Sarpei Nunoo; Micah; Adolf Armah; Hammond; Mama Acquah; Peter Lamptey; Anas; and Polo