Accra Hearts of Oak will on Friday, step onto the pitch again in search of their first win of the 2020/21 season as they welcome League leaders Karela United Football Club to the Accra stadium.
Hearts come into Friday’s game under a new trainer following the dismissal of Edward Nii Odoom.
Serbian trainer Kostadin Papic was on Tuesday, confirmed as new head coach of the Phobians to replace Edward Nii Odoom who led them to two games against AshantiGold and Inter Allies.
However, there is an uncertainty over the status of the Coach because the club has yet to complete formalities (Agreed contract, work permit etc) for him to be cleared by the GFA to sit on the bench for Friday’s game.
Hearts of Oak have gone two games without a win and sit at the foot of the League table with one point with a game in hand (against Aduana stars). They twice threw away their lead to draw 2-2 with AshantiGold in their season opener before falling to Inter Allies FC in their second fixture with a 1-0 defeat.
Kostadin is making a return to the club after a 12-year hiatus and is expected to make an instant impression following their disappointing start to the season.
The former Enugu Rangers coach was in charge of the Phobians from July 2008 to June 2009. His immediate assignment will be to restore confidence back at the club, work on the striker’s profligacy in front of goal and bring success to the club across competitions.
Kojo Obeng Junior grabbed a brace against AshantiGold but they failed to score against Inter Allies despite creating numerous goal scoring chances. Papic, is calling for patience on the back of huge expectations from fans as he begins his second tenure with the club.
Karela United FC are oozing with confidence going into the game. They currently lead the table with 7 points and remains one of the unbeaten sides in the League after Match Day Three having drawn one and won two games.
Karela began the journey with a draw (2-2) against AshantiGold in Obuasi. They pip Inter Allies by a goal to nil before staging an incredible comeback to win 2-1 against Dreams FC on Sunday.
Karela United aim at consolidating their top spot by keeping their away momentum after taking full advantage of their two home games.
They strengthened their squad with Yaw Ansah Foforo, Kamaradini Mamudu and Osman Bashiru. The trio have injected quality into the side and its no surprise to see them perform this way in the opening stages of the season. Diawusie Taylor and Franklin Osei have scored two goals each giving opponents a lot to worry about.
Captain Godfred Yeboah and Kwadwo Addai have played extremely well in central defence. Former Wa All Stars midfielder Sidiq Alhassan is back to full fitness and available for selection. The Premier League winner missed the first two games of the season but made the match day squad for Sunday’s game against Dreams FC.
Recent meetings between the two teams have produced four goals with Karela United winning 3-1 in Ainyinase in April, 2018 and recording a goalless draw against Hearts of Oak in February, 2020 at the Accra sports stadium.