Caf Champions League: Hearts of Oak register slim win over Wydad Casablanca

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A lone goal was the difference as the Phobians clinched victory in the first round fixture in Accra.

Ghanaian champions Hearts of Oak secured a 1-0 home triumph over Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca in their Caf Champions League clash on Sunday.

Isaac Mensah’s first-half goal earned the Phobians victory in the first round, first leg fixture at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Samuel Boadu’s men will head into next week’s second leg away from home with a narrow advantage, where the ultimate aggregate winners after two legs secure a ticket for the group stage of the competition.

For the big clash against the African 2017 champions, coach Boadu paraded unarguably his strongest possible XI, which featured Ghana internationals Mohammed Alhassan, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and goalkeeper Richard Attah.

The visitors’ XI included Tanzania ace Simon Msuva, Ivorian centre-back Cheick Comara and Libya attacker Muaid Ellafi.

More composed in the opening minutes, WAC called Hearts goalkeeper Attah into a save as early as the sixth minute, signalling their intent and purpose.

As the game went on, however, the Phobians grew in confidence, with Emmanuel Nettey trying his luck for the opener – unsuccessfully – from range.

In the 18th minute, the Ghana Premier League champions suffered a setback when they were forced into an early substitution as Congo defender Raddy Ovouka walked off the pitch with an injury.

Not weighed down by the withdrawal of their influential left-back, the hosts breached the Moroccans’ defence four minutes prior to half-time as Mensah beat his marker to tap into the net from close range after Ibrahim Salifu delivered a teasing cross into the box.

After the break, Hearts almost made it 2-0 when Nettey set up Kofi Kordzi for a shot but goalkeeper Ahmed Tagnaouti was at hand to produce a save


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