Giants Accra Hearts of Oak have climbed to second place on the Ghana Premier League table despite holding Berekum Chelsea to a goalless stalemate at the Golden City Park on Saturday afternoon.
The results means Kosta Papic’s men have extended their unbeaten run in the league to 5 games.
The Serbian went into the game without influential offensive midfielder Umar Manaf Gumah as well as midfield trio Lawali Mamani, Emmanuel Nettey and Abdul Aziz Nurudeen who are all lacking match fitness.
Dominic Eshun, William Dankyi and Daniel Afriyie both got the nod to start the game while Ivorian winger Eric Dizan and Patrick Razak were introduced in the second half.
Chelsea on the other hand paraded the experienced Emmanuel Clottey in attack along with Augustine Henneh.
While Chelsea had former Hearts of Oak trainer Seth Hoffman on the bench Hearts also had former Chelsea head coach Asare Bediako as No.2 to Kosta Papic.
Stephen Amankona, captain for Chelsea, displayed great agility and mobility on the 9th minute mark as he swerved Raddy Ovouka to negotiate for space before unleashing a deadly grounder which missed Richmond Ayi’s post by inches.
Midway through the first-half Emmanuel Clottey saw his exquisite free-kick spilled by Ayi but the Chelsea front men were late to arrive on the scene as Mohammed Alhassan marshalled the defensive lines with a timely clearance to save the Phobians from falling behind.
Three minutes after the interval Emmanuel Clottey managed to skew the ball past Ayi after he received a well calibrated crossfield ball from Amankona. But, the assistant 1 had already flagged him offside.
Hearts nearly stole the maximum points in stoppage-time when Frederick Ansah Botchwey thundered in a powerful low drive which was spilled by Chelsea goalkeeper Gregory Obeng Sekyere. Ivorian Eric Dizan pounced on the loose ball but the glovesman made a double save to deny the charged up Phobians a last-minute winner.
The results has put Hearts on 16 points from 10 games which means the Phobians are now without defeat in the last 5 games in the top-flight translating into 3 wins and 2 draws.
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