I have just come across my Africa Cup football match report of Accra Hearts of Oak vs St. Joseph Warriors of Liberia at Accra Stadium in a report published in the Daily Graphic, March 7, 1977 to be precise. The report is evidence I have been around for a while. It’s strictly for football lovers not born at the time or perhaps too young to be capable of reading.
The back page headline was HEARTS RIDE ON.
By Ken Bediako
Champion club Accra Hearts of Oak are through to the next stage of the continental soccer competition all right, but on their showing yesterday a big question mark hangs on their progress in the series.
With a comfortable 3-1 first leg away victory over Liberian Champions Warriors, the flag waving slogan chanting supporters if Hearts filled the Accra Stadium to capacity yesterday in anticipation of a goal harvest which never materialised.
Hearts won 2-1 but their overall performance was poor. Their reputed attacking machinery which fetched a goal in all competitive matches last year, was virtually non-existent.
The celebrated “Expensive” Robert Hammond was terribly ordinary yesterday and after missing three good scoring chances he limped away in the 34th minute.
Mohammed Polo, Mama Acquah and Peter Lamptey tried to play with some sense of purpose but Tanko Ayuba was a miserable flop as he repeatedly squandered chances that were more difficult to miss than to score. If anything it was the defence that showed some promise.
This was a very ordinary match indeed and if Hearts played below form, the visitors were not impressive either. Their only assets were their physique. They looked very athletic and were strong tacklers Left full back. Thomas Sieh, the strongest of them all, was prepared to meet anyone boot for boot.
It took Hearts 53 minutes to get the first goal Peter Lamptey’s mid-air lob was handled in the box and he converted the spot kick to give Hearts the leader.
This goal gave Hearts some inspiration but they never found their poise as the fitter Warriors continued to bully their way through Then like a bolt from the blue a long toss found substitute player Edwin Mallen struggling for the ball with Hearts substitute centre half Micah. Of course the Liberian had the upper hand and he eventually overpowered Suppey in goal to score the equalizer. That was in the 80th minute.
Hearts staged a last minute face saving onslaught and skipper Mohammed Polo blasted home the winning goal from close range in a crowded goalmouth action in the 88th minute.
The visitors raised an objection that somebody was in an offside position before the ball entered the net but Nigerian referee Badru appeared to have some sympathy for Hearts for the painful way they had squandered open chances and insisted the goal was legal.
HEARTS LINE UP:
Samuel Suppey Sarpei Nunoo, Ofei Ansah, Yusif Salifu/Micah, Seth Ampadu, Adolf Armah, Tanko Ayuba, Mama Acquah, Peter Lamptey, Robert Hammond/Mills Aryee and Mohammed Polo. I am so sorry this reproduction of my 46-year-old match report has robbed me of the opportunity to
comment on the disappointingly unruly behaviour of Bofoakwa fans who rioted after their exciting goalless league match against regional rivals Nsoatreman at the Sunyani Coronation Park.
Bofoakwa fans had won admiration for the voluntary spirit they showed to refurbish the Coronation Park for the league. The players have also performed creditably so far in the league and it is most unsporting for the fans to misbehave the way they did after the match resulting in injuries to Nsoatreman coach Maxwell Konadu who needed serious medical attention in hospital.
Now that the GFA has banned the Coronation Park stadium for some time, the fine efforts in modernising the Coronation Park has been completely diluted by the unruly behaviour. I would expect the club’s top men to fish out the culprits and punish them for denting the reputation of “Real Bofo.”
The Brong and Ahafo regions are currently the toast of football lovers for their meteoric rise providing five premiership clubs in the ongoing marathon fiesta Measures should be taken to ensure discipline both on and off the pitch. More anon.
Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.