Dansoman- based Liberty Professionals yesterday threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 against visiting Karela FC in the second round of the ongoing GFA Normalisation Committee's Special Cup competition.
Despite their impressive comeback, Karela failed to hold their position as leaders on the Zone B log, as WAFA and Accra Hearts of Oak won their matches yesterday to push the Nzema Anyinase-based side into third place.
A brace from Benjamin Eshun and a goal from captain Simon Zibo gave Liberty a 3-0 lead, but an equally strong response, including an injury time strike from Karela who also scored a brace from Diawiase Taylor and Sarfo Taylor, ensured that the points were split at the Carl Reindorf Park.
In an action-packed half, Liberty finally got the opener in the 33rd minute when Benjamin Eshun perfectly finished off with a nod, connecting another header from Frimpong Hagan.
Winger Michael Ampedu, after receiving the ball from the right, floated to Hagan who was lurking in the box. His passing header was connected by unmarked Eshun with another thumping header which wrong footed Karela’s goalkeeper Kofi Mensah into the back of the net.
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Five minutes later, the homesters added a controversial second goal through a spot-kick awarded when skipper Godfred Agyemang impeded advancing forward George Ansong in the box. Captain Zibo beautifully converted to increase the tally to 2-0.
Liberty made it 3-0 after recess when Eshun was at the receiving end of clever interplay between Ampedu and Prosper Avor in the Karela goal area, which saw the former dribble past Kofi Mensah before passing on to a waiting Eshun who slotted the ball into the bottom of the net.
The visitors began their recovery in the second half, getting their first goal in the 59th minute when danger man Sarfo tapped into the net from a rebound after a shot had deflected from the crossbar during a siege in the area.
Diawiase scored their second goal in the 70th minute, also converting a penalty kick awarded after Liberty defender Michael Sefa was penalised for handling a powerful volley.
The game was turned in its head when in the 94th minute Sarfo collected the ball from the left, wove his way into the area and released Diawise whose speed was too much for the Liberty defence and thus managed to cleverly tip the ball over the home side’s goalie for the equaliser.
Referee Abdul Latif Qadir blew the whistle to end proceedings almost immediately after the goal.