Posted by: westafricanfootball | 31/12/2012

HEARTS OF OAK SC vs. MEDEAMA SC 1-3

Theophilus-AnobahYesterday, I had the pleasure of watching the match between Hearts of Oak SC and Medeama SC. Hearts of Oak SC, a team in crisis, lost 1-3 and made a very poor performance. Medeama SC had to play with 10 men for an hour after a stupid tackle by Tanko Mohammed, followed by a red card. Despite their disadvantage, Medeama SC fought hard and played a disciplined game, deserving their three points. Medeama SC took the lead after a free-kick from the left flank courtesy of midfielder Joseph Gordon. What seemed to be a cross went straight into the net after goalkeeper Lugard Tetteh was distracted by his defender Robin Gnagne. Hearts of Oak SC equalized through a tap-in from close range by top scorer Mahatma Otoo. Eric Nyarko put Medeama SC back in the lead through a well-placed header. In the second half, Joseph Gordon smashed home from about 30 meters to secure all three points for Medeama SC. The thunderbolt shot is a candidate for “Goal of the season” although I believe goalkeeper Tetteh should have done better.

Lugard Tetteh played his ninth game of the season in goal for Hearts of Oak SC. The experienced Tetteh had a rather poor game and I was not impressed with his efforts at 0-1 and 1-3. To be fair, Tetteh received almost no help from the poor defenders of the Phobians. The central defence consisted of strongman Godwin Osei Bonsu (born 03.03.1989) and Ivorian youngster Robin Gnagne (born 18.12.1993). Both players looked shaky. Bonsu, playing his ninth game of the season, showed that he needs a steady partner at the back. The inexperienced Gnagne was not the solution. I am not sure what to write about Gnagne, a product of the Red Bull Academy. On one hand, Gnagne failed to keep his cool during crucial situations. On the other hand, Gnagne has some qualities that could very well make him into a good defender. Gnagne is tall, strong and likes to run forward with the ball, initiating attacks from the back. This was Gnagne’s seventh top level match and he will most likely become a lot better.

The left-back of the evening was Karim Suleman, playing his fifth match of the season. I was not impressed with this player. Suleman focused on his defensive duties and he never looked dangerous going forward. At times, his passing and crosses were extremely poor. Emmanuel Ansong (born 22.10.1989), the right-back, struggled with Theophilus Anobaah and his offensive contributions were few. Ansong has been ever present so far this season.

The midfield of Hearts of Oak SC was yet again run by Abubakar Moro. Moro is a good player but he is not a traditional playmaker. He is a good ball-winner, his distribution of the ball makes a lot of sense and some of his long passes is pure class. However; he is not the kind of player that can outsmart opposite defenders with creativity and decisive passes. From my point of view, Hearts of Oak SC desperately needs a playmaker. Moro was partnered by lanky youngster Alhassan Ali and the workaholic Paul Acquah I am sure Ali can develop into a fine player but currently, I don’t feel he is good enough for the first team of Hearts of Oak SC. Ali was substituted for the injury-plagued Kofi Abanga (born 10.02.1988), making his first appearance of the season. I have always liked Abanga and he showed glimpses of his quality. Abanga immediately took control of the game and tried to get the wingers more involved. Abanga has excellent ball-control. Paul Acquah, often attacking from the right, was in charge of set-pieces – quite a mystery to me. His corner-kicks was extremely poor and his free-kicks was almost just as bad. Acquah is a tireless worker and I did see glimpses of quality, especially when he decided to speed up. Acquah is quite pacy but his ball-control is not good enough.

The highly regarded Ollenu Ashitey (born 17.05.1994) played at the left-wing. Ashitey, a member of the Ghana U-20 national football team, is difficult to define as a player. Ashitey works hard and is always on the run. He is very lively and difficult to mark and difficult to tackle – something Tanko Mohammed found out when he was shown a red card after a hopeless attempt of a tackle on Ashitey. On the other hand; Ashitey lacks some intelligence and overview. He often keeps the ball when he should have passed and his finishing was sometimes horrific. In any case; Hearts of Oak SC must give Ashitey more chances as he could develop into a fine attacking midfielder / winger.

The petit Romeo Agban played at the right-wing – although Ashitey and Agban sometimes switched places. Agban is a pacy winger who loves to dribble and at times he is difficult to stop. However; he dissappears completely from time to time and glimpses of quality is not enough. He will have to bring more consistency to his game. Agban was substituted for striker Gilbert Fiamenyoh (born 06.07.1992). Fiamenyoh, signed from Heart of Lions FC, has been struggling with injury all season and to be honest, he looks a bit heavy and unfit. Nevertheless, Fiamenyoh caused some havoc as he is strong as a bull. His finishing was awful and he should have scored at least a goal.

Mahatma Otoo (born 06.02.1992) played as a lone striker but got support from Ashitey and Agban. Otoo scored a tap-in goal but should have scored at least two more goals. Otoo is definitely the best finisher at the club (seven goals in 13 matches) but he could score even more if he is able to keep a cool head in decisive situations. Otoo is a workaholic striker with a lot of strenght but I think he would be better playing alongside a target-man. Otoo was substituted for James Kwame Abban who only played a few minutes.

Joseph Halm is the first-choice goalkeeper at Medeama SC. Halm is actually a very good goalkeeper by Ghanaian standards; tall and strong and a good shot-stopper. Unfortunately, it is his time-wasting efforts I will remember from this match.

Richmond Nketiah played at left-back while Nurudeen Yusif (born 28.08.1992) played at the right. Nketiah is an interesting full-back who loves to join the attack. When Tanko Mohammed was sent-off, Nketiah became more of a classic left-back, focusing hard on stopping Romeo Agban and Paul Acquah. From my point of view, Nketiah showed intelligence as a good full-back must know when to defend and when to attack. Yusif was one of the best players of the evening and a player I will watch closely in the future. His overlapping runs were a joy to watch and his long throws is an attacking weapon for Medeama SC. Yusif is a dynamic, pacy full-back with a bright future.

Otuo Acheampong and Godfred Rockson (born 20.10.1986) did well in the heart of the Medeama SC defence. Acheampong has been one of the revelations of the season, replacing Kwabena Adusei (transfered to Asante Kotoko) with style. At times, Acheampong seems a bit over-confident but on the other hand, he has the pace and strenght to defend it. Rockson is one of the most underestimated defenders in the league and one of my favorites. He reads the game well, tackles hard but fair and wins almost everything in the air.

The midfield of Medeama SC is directed by Eric Nyarko (born 02.10.1983). The box-to-box midfielder is extremely important as he picks up the ball from the defenders, turns around, and makes flawless passes to the wingers or attackers. Nyarko is the maestro of the team and any team wanting to bead Medeama SC should try to take this man out of the match. Nyarko gets a lof of help from Victor Ayire, one of the revelations of the season. Ayire is an excellent ball-winner, playing just in front of the central defenders. Ayire is the kind of player you would go to war with. Despite his defensive role, Ayire loves to run forward and his powerful shot should sooner or later lead to his first goal for Medeama SC.

Joseph Gordon and Theophilus Anobaah played at the wings, often switching sides. Anobaah was mostly found on the left and Gordon mostly found on the right. Gordon, formerly of Asokwa Deportivo FC, scored two goals, the latter a true beauty. Gordon has struggled to get playing time this season and the nimble-footed winger should get a lot more chances after this performance. Anobaah is one of my favorites. He must be a nightmare to defend against due to his dribbling skill and pace. Anobaah, formerly of AshantiGold SC, has scored three goals so far this season. Anobaah was replaced with Hudu Yakubu who played left-back for about 20 minutes, forcing Nketiah to play on the left-wing. Yakubu made a positive impression.

Tanko Mohammed (born 22.03.1984), the big, strong and slow frontman of Medeama SC, was shown off early in the game, forcing Bismark Asiedu (born 17.09.1984) to play up-front. I was rather impressed with the way Asiedu was able to hold up the ball, despite getting the tough Gnagne or Bonsu in his back. Asiedu is not the fastest player but he has a lot of strenght and intelligence due to his vast experience.

The picture is of Theophilus Anobaah and was found on medeamasc.com.


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