Salifu Ibrahim and substitute Isaac Agyenim Boateng were the heroes of the day for the Phobians as their goals decided the match at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Samuel Boadu’s outfit are playing in the Confederation Cup, with a second chance to make an impact in Africa this season, after their elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca, 6-2 on aggregate.
With their last visit to North Africa ending in a humiliating 6-1 loss, the Accra-based side will be fully aware of the difficulty of the task ahead in the upcoming second leg.
In Sunday’s home fixture, Boadu was without Congolese left-back Raddy Ovouka who has had fitness issues since aggravating an injury while playing against Wydad. In his absence, William Dankyi continues to hold the fort.
Youngster Salim Adams was also named in the starting team and the attack was led by usual suspects Kofi Kordzi, Isaac Mensah and Daniel Barnieh Afriyie.
Midfielder Adel Bouchiba led Saoura’s XI as captain, with Mohamed Amin Hammia, Aimen Lahmri and Oussama Bellatreche leading their attack.
The home side broke the deadlock on the 15-minute mark through Salifu, who headed past goalkeeper Zakaria Saidi to make it 1-0 after Barnieh delivered a good ball.
The visitors woke up from their early slumber to hold their own for the remainder of the first half, and for the most part of the second half.
But they conceded again in the 70th minute when Dankyi set up Boateng to double the hosts’ lead.
Three minutes later, things changed from bad to worse for Saoura when goalkeeper Saidi was sent off for a second yellow card.
Hearts, though, failed to make their late numerical advantage count as the match ended 2-0. Read Full Story