Ghanaian champions Trustees were forced to settle for a solitary point from a possible three after relinquishing a two-goal lead in an extremely competitive clash with defending champions, Sharkia at the National Hockey Stadium in Accra.
The hardnosed encounter on match day three saw the Egyptians reeling from an unsettling ninth minute opener by Titus Mills for Trustees.
Sharkia were nudged into action to produce a quick response but they struggled to pry open the dogged defence of Trustees. Marshalled by goalkeeper Amadu Abdallah who sold out an awe-inspiring display on the day, the Trustees defence held its nerve against incessant onslaughts from Sharkia to end the half on a high.
Sharkia were further subdued in the forty-fourth minute when Trustees earned a penalty corner which was converted by national star Insalbini Salya.
But the Egyptian champions were insistent in their quest to glean something from a seeming lost cause. In a spontaneous outpour of venom, Sharkia surged into the vital are of their opponents and goal poacher Mahmoud Waleed was on hand to finish off the build up with brutal precision.
Thereafter, Sharkia’s class showed through as they grabbed their second goal in the fifty-ninth minute through Hosam Gobraan while Mohamed Hassan’s persistence put them in the driving seat on sixty- five minutes.
Trustees were relentless in their hunt for an equalizer in the subsequent minutes and their efforts were rewarded two minutes to the end of the game when David Ghablah flicked in a penalty corner to send the partisan crowd into a frenzy.
Golden Sticks played with aplomb and were unlucky to glean neither a point nor goal from their match up with Police Union of Egypt. The pacy encounter ended 2-0 in favour of the more resolute Police side.
With an industrious attacking lineup, Golden Sticks wasted no time in signaling their intent to win. But they spurned one chance too many and got punished by their more organised opponents. Goals from Amr Mohamed and Adnan Sayeed killed the game and left the Ghanaian side befuddled.
Earlier, Niger Flickers proved superior to their compatriots Yobe Rollers in their all-Nigerian contest.
The attacking duo of Awallu Lamido and Yohanna Faruk were lethal in securing a 3-1 victory for Flickers often initiating the attack from the flanks with bursts of energy. Faruk scored twice while Lamido produced the third. Yobe’s consolation goal came through Michael Agbaegbu.
Meanwhile, Extinguishers continued their dominant run in the women’s contest with yet another win over defending champions Orange of Kenya. Goals from Rachael Bamfo and Serwah Boakye increased the Ghanaian club’s goal haul at this Championship to twelve. Orange pulled a goal in the sixtieth minute when Olal converted from a penalty corner, ending the game as 2-1 losers.
In other day three fixtures, Reformers drew 1-1 with Yobe Queens while Heartland of Nigeria thumped Sharkia 3-0.
The ladies will take a rest after three days of arduous action, leaving the men to battle for honours on Match Day Four.
Sharkia return to the fray after yesterday’s arduous challenge in a match with Flickers of Nigeria while patrons are poised to witness a battle of will, exuberance and wit when Trustees take on University side, Strathmore from Kenya. In the last match of the day, Golden Sticks will seek to take apart Yobe Desert Rollers of Nigeria to make amends for their loss against Police Union on match day three.
Ghana Hockey has a new website which is following all of the action from the ACCC. To see it, please visit www.ghanahockey.org.
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