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Football | Ghana

Hearts begin journey out of drop



Four wins in sixteen games is the stat most suited to mid- to lower-level Ghana Premier League teams who are not called Hearts of Oak, but that's where the Phobians sit after winning on Sunday.

Their 1-0 victory over King Faisal came from yet another spot kick at the Accra Stadium. It was converted, as most of the others have, by the Ivorian defender Robin Gnagne.

The defender becomes Hearts second highest top scorer, with four goals, behind Mahatma Otoo's seven.

"I cannot state how crucial this win is for the boys, not even for me," David Duncan said post match, going on: "It was key for their confidence that we begin this round well."

That is true, but the Phobians have not escaped relegation just yet. Hearts still have a glamorous spot in the bottom three of the standings, even though they are level on points with three other sides ahead of them.

Duncan was noncommittal on the state of his team following a player reshuffle that saw ten players come in and twelve deemed surplus to requirements.

"The technical team is still working, and it is a work in progress after we brought in new blood after the first round," the coach said.

Douglas Nkrumah, Hearts’ top-scorer two seasons ago, Isaac Ofori, Moro Iddris and Attakorah Gyimah were all shock victims of Duncan's chop, according to supersport.com editor Gary Al-Smith, but he has maintained that he knows what he is doing.

Some of the new men have already justified their pricey acquisitions. James Bissue has five goals since coming in, with four in friendlies and one in the FA Cup. Crucially, four of those five have been freekicks, a rarity in itself this side of world football.

Snapped up from New Edubiase, left back Owusu Bempah came with a decent reputation following his role in his former side's romp to FA Cup glory. He is yet to score in a league game, following his debut goal against Tamale Utrecht in the FA Cup.

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