Afriyie Barnieh secures maximum points for Hearts of Oak from Kotoku Royals
Black Meteors poster boy Daniel Afriyie Barnieh came from international duty to lead Hearts of Oak past Akyem Kotoku Royals as Slavko Matic’s honeymoon continues with the Phobians.
Afriyie Barnieh and Salifu Ibrahim were given starting roles after the former missed the last encounter due to an international assignment with the Black Meteors while the latter started off the bench.
After keeping more of the ball in the opening minutes, the Phobians largely threatened their hosts with Richmond Ayi being the busier of the two goalkeepers in the early stages. Ayi did well to deny Kotoku Royals from taking the lead in the 11th minute from an expertly taken free-kick that beat the Hearts of Oak wall by parrying the ball out for a corner at full stretch.
However, the Phobians took charge when star boy Daniel Afriyie Barnieh was brought down in the box by Kotoku Royals guardsman Clinton Quaye. The attacker got up, dusted himself and put the Phobians in the lead with a powerful spot kick into the roof of the net to beat Clinton Quaye.
Neither side could find the net again with Hearts going into the break with the lead. The second half produced a number of chances from both ends but none resulted in a goal as the Phobians went back to Accra with maximum points, their second on the bounce this season.
Hearts of Oak have temporarily moved to fifth on the table and would welcome Karela United to Accra in their next outing while Kotoku Royals will play as guests to King Faisal a day before on Friday.