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Salifu Ibrahim’s goal was enough to give Hearts a 1-0 win over Accra Lions to progress to the MTN FA Cup round of 32

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Defending champions, Hearts of Oak secured passage to the round of 32 of the MTN FA Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Regional rivals Accra Lions at the Carl Reindorf Park in Dansoman on Wednesday afternoon.

Mecurial midfielder Ibrahim Salifu scored the only goal of the game as the Phobians made it two wins in a matter of four days against the newly promoted top-flight side.

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Hearts of Oak started the tie on top gear with midfielsders Gladson Awako and Salifu Ibrahim dictating the pace of the game.

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The toast of the fans was however Carl Reindorf home boy, Frederick Ansah Botchway who marshaled the midfield with great finesse.

It did not take long for the Rainbow Boys to grab the game’s opener after a dominant display in the early stages of the first half.

Midfield sensation, Ibrahim Salifu produced a fine run and an even better finish after a superb through ball from striker Isaac Mensah in the 22nd minute.

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Even after going a goal down, Accra Lions couldn’t wake up from their slumber as the Phobians continuously exert their authority on the match.

Captain, Fatawu Mohammed came close to regiatering a second goal for the visitors but his left footed strike went high and wide off the post.

That was how the scoreline stayed until the half time break.

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The second half resumed with the visitors still enjoying lion share of possession with goalkeeper Richmond Ayi virtually on holidays.

The former WAFA shot stopper was however tested on the 50th minute when he punched away Joseph Addo’s well struck free kick.

The introduction Daniel Awuni injected some life in the life of Accra Lions and the former Liberty Professional Academy boy almost pulled level for the home side when he raced past Fatawu Mohammed but the Phobians were saved by the post.

Moments later, the youngster again set up fellow substitute Kelvin Kyei but the latter’s predatory poke was well parried by Hearts keeper Richmond Ayi.

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Accra Lions could have gone down by 2-0 with a quater of an hour remaining on the clock but goalkeeper Appiah Kubi saved Gladson Awako’s ferocious strike.

With two minutes left to play, Lions had a penalty appeal turned down after the ball struck the arm of defender Caleb Amankwah in the area.

That proved to be the last bit of action as Referee Charles Bulu will whistle for the end of the game with Hearts of Oak qualifying for the round 32 of the competition.

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