Accra Hearts of Oak beat Elmina Sharks FC 1-0 in a preseason friendly game played at the El-Wak Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Patrick Razak scored the lone winner midway in the second half to help Hearts record the narrow victory over the newly promoted Ghana Premier League side in a keenly contested friendly game.
The Phobians were made to wait for the opener by the resolute Elmina Sharks defense but substitute Agbeshie Dotse provided the midas touch with a super pass for the scampering Razak who made no mistake to fire past the keeper.
Hearts probed for more in the closing stages, but the visitors did not repeat their momentary defensive mistake and threatened to draw level at the other end.
Assistant Coach Henry Lamptey named a strong starting XI with Robin Gnagne leading the team, marquee Malik Akowuah Malik marshaling the midfield together with Daniel Kodie, and Bright Lukman and Cosmos Dauda spearheading the attack.
Hearts also welcomed back Inusah Musah for his first full game after recovering from injury.
The Phobians started the game quite brightly and could have gone ahead in the opening 10 minutes but they were denied by the finest of margins when Joshua Otoo’s well-taken free-kick cannoned off the frame of the post in the sixth minute.
Earlier, Cosmos had skied a shot after being put through on goal by Lukman.
Sharks also threatened at the other end but goalkeeper Ben Mensah was equal to the task despite taking two attempts to save a low shot on the line.
Chances were at a premium in the ensuing minutes but the Phobians went close when Razak’s swinging cross was nearly deflected into the visitor’s net by the keeper but Cosmos arrived a fraction late and failed to take advantage.
Sharks were content with keeping possession and they made it difficult for Hearts to take full control in the first half.
The Phobians started the second half just like they started the first but the visitors held their own and made it hard for Hearts to carve them open.
Coach Wellington threw on Isaac Mensah and Agbeshie Dotse in the 49th minute but it was the latter who had a more telling effect.
The striker was involved in a wonderful buildup, drawing out defenders as he awaited a pass only to chip the ball delightfully for the scampering Razak in the box.
Razak did not even break his stride as he rifled the ball past the hapless Sharks goalkeeper in the 69th minute.
It proved to be the lone winner in this keenly contested affair.
HEARTS XI vs Sharks: Ben Mensah, Anthony Nimo, Joshua Otoo, Inusah Musah, Robin Gnagne (c ), Malik Akowuah, Thomas Abbey (49 Isaac Mensah), Daniel Kodie (36 Samudeen Ibrahim), Cosmos Dauda (74 Samuel Yeboah), Bright Lukman (49 Agbeshi Dotse), Patrick Razak (87 Amin Alhassan)
Unused substitutes: Samuel Akurugu, Evans Gbeti, Augustine Sefa, Kassenu Ghandy, Richard Akrofi
Booked: Robin Gnagne (13), Musah Inusah (16), Samudeen Ibrahim (81), Malik Akowuah (92)
By Anwar U. Larry | Accra Hearts of Oak