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Hearts, Aduana in dicey duel

BY: Daniel Amankrah
Isaac Mensah — Hearts of Oak
Isaac Mensah — Hearts of Oak

After losing to arch-rivals, Asante Kotoko, in the President’s Cup duel last week, Accra Hearts of Oak are poised for redemption when they host Dormaa Ahenkro-based Aduana Stars at the Accra Stadium tomorrow in a match day 18 Premier League clash.

 

The Phobians’ home record this season has not been impressive when compared to their away games, picking up 13 points out of a possible 24 points, scored just eight goals and conceded seven. However, they will definitely be goaded on by their 1-1 first round result at the Nana Agyemang Badu Park.

This encounter will be intriguing as both teams are determined for a win as they fight for the top spot, not forgetting that a win for the Dormaa Ahenkro-based club could see them leap over the Phobians who are third with 30 points, just a point more than Aduana Stars who are currently fourth with 29 points.

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On the other hand, Aduana Stars will be seeking to overturn a winless streak at the Accra Stadium, with club chairman, Albert Commey, disclosing to the Daily Graphic that his charges are ready to end their four-year drought at the Accra Stadium this time.

Meanwhile, Accra Hearts of Oak Coach, Sergio Daniel Moniz Traguil, will be counting on the experience of skipper Robin Gnagne and veteran midfielder, Mustapha Essuman, to partner well in dealing with the threat of leading scorer, Yahaya Mohammed, who has scored 11 goals this season.

Also, Aduana Stars’ Romanian tactician, Aristica Cioaba, will be counting on skipper Godfred Saka and goalkeeper Stephen Adams to stop Hearts’ in-form striker, Cosmos Dauda, and new sensation, Patrick Razak, who has won the hearts of Hearts fans in the second round. 

Nevertheless, Hearts will be boosted by the return of Richard Yamoah and playmaker, Isaac Mensah, who picked a knock during the President’s Cup game against Kotoko, and Samudeen Ibrahim, who is gradually gaining match fitness after a long injury lay-off.

Second-placed Kotoko will battle it out with relegation-threatened Inter Allies at the Tema Stadium today without their leading scorer, Dauda Mohammed, who is on international duty with the Black Satellites. But Coach Michael Osei will rely on former Ashgold striker, Emmanuel Osei, to lead his charges upfront against an Inter Allies side which has lost once this season at home.

A perfect penalty execution by skipper Amos Frimpong earned the Porcupine Warriors  a 1-0 win over Inter Allies at the Baba Yara Stadium in the first round, and completing the double this afternoon could see the Kumasi-based club move to the top with 33 points, two points more than leaders Wa All Stars who will play host to defending champions, Ashantigold, tomorrow.

Just like Kotoko, Inter Allies will also be missing the services of defender Enock Adu, winger Evans Mensah and goalkeeper Kwame Baah to the Black Satellites.

The Nana Ameyaw Park at Techiman will erupt this weekend when cash-strapped debutantes, Techiman City, who have threatened to pull out of the league, seek to end their five-game winless streak against stubborn WAFA.

Bechem United, who have also lost just once at home this season, will play host to Berekum Chelsea in a regional derby at the Nana Gyeabour Park tomorrow.

Poor travellers, Sekondi Hasaacas, face a tough task against Ebusua Dwarfs at the Cape Coast Robert Mensah Stadium, while bottom-placed New Edubiase United host Liberty Professionals in Obuasi.

The battle for the fifth position will be fought at the T&A Park in Tarkwa where fifth-placed Medeama SC (with 27 points) encounter sixth-placed Dreams FC, who have 26 points.