Karela United’s Captain, William Opoku Mensah, scored a hat-trick inside 18 second half minutes to complete a remarkable turnaround and condemn Hearts of Oak to their 4th defeat in eight games in a Ghana Premier League week 8 game played at the CAM Park in Aiyinase.
The Phobians started the brighter of the two sides, with Edward Odoom’s decision to after Evans Quao in a midfield three giving the team more balance.
Winful Cobinnah’s first start since match day 1 also breathed more creativity into the Hearts of Oak attack and it was the livewire’s brilliant mazy run that set up Daniel Kordie to slot in for his first goal of the season.
Karela were struggling to put passes together with the fans, who had packed stadium to capacity, increasingly becoming frustrated at their team’s inability to exert any form of influence in the game.
Kordie could easily have had a hat-trick in the first half. He had a second shot saved by Isaac Hagan before he fired another pile-driver that came off the crossbar.
Hearts went into the half time break, seemingly cruising.
The second half started with a change that bewildered many. Odoom pulled out Quao, who had impressed in the first half, and replaced him with Isaac Mensah.
But just 2 minutes in, Karela got the equalizer. Captain Opoku Mensah stumped in from 5 yards after Ben Mensah’s parried shot fell in front of him.
After restart, Hearts went looking for the initiative again, but were punished just 2 minutes later when Inusah Musah’s blunder -caught ball watching when he should have cleared the ball, allowed Opoku Mensah to steal in from behind to poke in.
At this point, the stadium had turned into raptures. Karela had successfully turned a negative first half energy from their fans into an uncontrollably buzzing one.
Hearts of Oak were in shock. Odoom bright on the likes of Patrick Razak and later Cosmos Dauda, but it was too little too late.
The frenetic manner with which the 20-time league champions attacked left them vulnerable at the back. So when Donald Wellington was played in half way into the Hearts of Oak half, he had only Inusah Musah to beat, which the Sierra Leonean international did without sweat before laying the pass to Opoku Mensah to complete his hat-trick.
No words can describe the atmosphere when that 3rd goal went in. The party is sure to continue deep into the nights at Aiyinase after this special game.
Karela have now home 5 games without a defeat and move up to 14 points, joint top of the table with Ashantigold and Medeama.
The defeat is Hearts of Oak’s 4th in 8 games and have now slipped to 9th on the table.
Karela will next host Elmina Sharks while Hearts of Oak play host to Bechem United at the Baba Yara stadium as part of the double header arrangement.
By: Fentuo Tahiru/citinewsroom.com/Ghana