Accra Hearts of Oak made a good first half impression in the first leg playoffs of the CAF Confederation Cup against Algeria club, Jeunesse Sportive de Saoura at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Kofi Kordzi had a fine opportunity in the 7th minute after a good pass from Daniel Afriyie Barnieh’s pass but JS Saoura defence managed to deal with the situation. Daniel Afriyie Barnieh dribbled his way into JS Saoura but the defence dealt with it beautifully to keep themselves in the game on the 11th minute. The Phobians dominated possession briefly but could not make use of their ball possession. A free kick on the 13th minute but it was wasted by Salifu Ibrahim on 14 minute mark. Salifu Ibrahim scored Hearts of Oak’s opened in the 16th minute with a beautiful header with a beautiful pass from Daniel Afriyie Barnieh.
Kofi Kordzi had a big opportunity to score the second after Fatawu Mohammed had beaten his marker but the JS Saoura goalkeeper pushed it to corner kick on the 20th minute. The Hearts of Oak backline defended really well with young midfielder, Salim Adams and Frederick Ansah Botchway holding the midfield really well. Salifu Ibrahim, Kofi Kodzi, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and Isaac Mensah marshaled the attack very well as at 26 minutes played. Fatawu Mohammed made a horrible mistake which the Algerians nearly score but Richard Attah saved the situation on the 30th minute. Hearts of Oak had a chance to score after a beautiful exchange but Afriyie Barnieh was flagged offside. Referee added two minutes which eventually ended the first half.
Back from the break, both sides Hearts of Oak were dealt a big blow when Salifu Ibrahim the goal scorer was stretched off injured. The Algerians broke fast afterwards but their incursions did not make any impact. Former Medeama forward, Agyenim Boateng replaced the injured Salifu Ibrahim on the 48th minute. Hearts of Oak could have made it 2-0 but Daniel Afriyie Barnieh’s header went inches wide off the post after Frederick Ansah Botchway’s beautiful pass. The Algerians made a brief press on the 57th minute but could not use the opportunity. Kofi Kordzi’s 58th minute free kick was perfectly saved by J S Saoura goalkeeper, Zakari Saidi for a corner kick.
The Algerians had a free kick a few meters away from Hearts of Oak goal area. The effort nearly went in but hit the side net. The Algerians began taking control of the game, tormenting Hearts of Oak goal area. Isaac Mensah could have made the 2-0 when Barnieh’s pass to Isaac Mensah hit the side of the net on the 68th minute. Hearts of Oak made it 2-0 when Agyenim BOATENG scored from a beautiful pass from William Denkyi on the 72nd minute mark. JS Saoura goalkeeper, Zakari Saidi was shown the red card after pulling down Afriyie Barnieh. Hearts of Oak held on to the 2-0 lead till the end of the game. The second leg comes up in Algeria a week later.
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