Angry Hearts fans waiting for their officials
Some officials of Accra Hearts of Oak were held hostage by irate supporters of the club at the Accra Stadium after their team beat AS Real Bamako 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium yesterday but still crashed out of the CAF Confederation Cup on a 1-3 aggregate.
Incensed by the manner in which the team was eliminated from the competition, the furious fans demanded the immediate resignation of Vincent Sowah Odotei and Alhaji Braiman Akambi, both members of the club’s board of Directors, for allegedly masterminding the dismissal of the head coach, Samuel Boadu, just when the competition was about to start.
Before the final whistle the fans besieged the entrance of the VIP Box ostensibly to confront the officials for their poor judgement and decisions which cost the team a place in Africa’s second-tier inter-club competition.
Earlier, Coach Boadu and his former assistant, Hamza Obeng, were welcomed with a loud applause by the hearts fans as the duo made their way into the stadium.
Caleb Amanakwah’s goal just a minute to regulation time gave the fans something of a consolation, and not much to cheer about after they had sat anxiously for a goal harvest which failed to materialise.
Hearts needed to score at least four unanswered goals to eliminate the Malians, having lost the first leg 0-3 in Bamako last Saturday. Surprisingly, the Phobians started the game with very little urgency, and looked jittery anytime they got into the third quarter of their opponents’ goal area, either unable to get past the Malian defenders or fluffed the scoring chances that came their way.
Without much pressure, Real Bamako rather made the Phobians play catch-up, and by the 13th minute Hearts were lucky to have avoided an early goal when unmarked Emile Kone connected a corner-kick which hit the side of the net.
The midfield of Hearts looked flat as their opponents took charge of the exchanges and created some decent chances, including a 20th minute solo run by Chaka Sidibe into the Hearts penalty box but his shot rolled across the face of the goal posts.
Five minutes after some terrible defending, Konadu Yiadom came to the rescue of Hearts when he stretched to deny Cheickna Sidibe a shooting opportunity.
As the clocked ticked the Hearts fans got impatient with their team’s sloppy play, and started yelled at the players until they began to attack with purpose, with Samuel Inkoom creating the best chance of the day after outwitting the Bamako defence to set up Amankwah whose shot missed the target.
Caretaker coach David Ocloo was forced to make some quick substitutions in the second half by bringing Mohammed Alhassan, Ibrahim Salifu and Kwadwo Obeng Jnr for Rashid Okine, Isaac Mensah and Suraj Seidu which appeared to have improved the team’s performance as they began attacking.
By the 75th minute Hearts had created some decent chances but they were unable to convert any of them.
As the visiting side were warming into the game, Moussa Kone beat an offside trap after Hearts had thrown all their men upfield in search of a goal but goalkeeper Richmond Ayi rose to the occasion by making a point-blank save.
As Hearts continued to pile the pressure, substitute Obeng Jnr nearly scored from a cross by teammate Salifu but goalkeeper Germain Berthe parried the ball over the crossbar.
With the clock ticking, Hearts kept mounting pressure until Amankwah profited from a goalmouth melee to slot home for the only goal of the game.