Although the rainbow club conjured magic in the closing stages to eliminate their opponent and made advancement, but overall display reveals how young the squad is, and the need to lower expectations.
The first half of the match was an open game for both Accra Hearts of Oak and CI Kamsar. The first half was bereft of clear cut chances due to how tight both teams were, particularly the visitors ensuring they close spaces to avoid avalanche of goals. Coach Samuel Boadu settled on Daniel Afriyie Barnieh as the arrow head, but Kamsar defenders took advantage of his height on air balls. Salifu Ibrahim was given a tough time as his incisive passes were reduced drastically. The Guinean club had a strategy of frustrating the Ghanaian representative which worked for them in the first half. CI Kamsar mounted an indestructible fence from the center line, cutting supply from Frederick Ansah Botchway and Emmanuel Nettey. They deployed men behind the ball which demanded a well thought out approach to unlock it. Penetration became extremely onerous.
Urgently, Accra Hearts of Oak were caught in a dilemma where a fresh path has to be enrolled in the second part of the game. The Phobians injected some energy into their game, stitched passes to land in the opponent’s box. Chances began to rain and this led to two goals, even though they were ruled illicit by match officials.
That did not douse the fire as the Ghanaian champions lifted their game. Coach Samuel Boadu - after getting a clue of what CI Kamsar intend to do - effected live-saving tactical decisions which eventually stole the show and alter the narrative.
For two goals to be scored by two substitutes tells the impact of his tactical decision. He read the game as expected of him, got what was required and implemented expertly. The introduction of Kofi Kordzi and Salim Adams could have been gone wrong with another coach. Another coach may have opted for other players instead of the duo, but his ability to diagnose the team and offered panacea adds value to his technical analysis.
The victory did not come on a cheap route as they were given a run for their money by CI Kamsar in the first half, but to able to overcome those challenges in the dying embers of the game shows how they could fare in African club competition.
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