Hearts of Oak lead their CAF Confederation Cup play-offs tie against Algeria’s JS Saoura following a dominant performance in Accra to secure a 2-0 win in the first-leg.
Midfielder Ibrahim Salifu opened the scoring before Agyenim Boateng sealed victory with his debut goal as Saoura finished the game with 10 men.
The return leg will be played in Algeria next week with any kind of draw enough for the Phobians to progress to the group stage of the competition for the first time in over a decade.
Hearts came into the encounter without a win in their last five games. They followed up their 6-1 loss in Morocco to Wydad in the Champions League with three draws and one defeat in the Ghana Premier League.
But on Sunday, Samuel Boadu’s side produced a really impressive performance that yielded a good result in the tough contest.
The Algerians set up to try to contain Hearts and secure a draw. The strategy worked until the 17th minute when Hearts scored.
A brilliant play that started from the back was finished off by Ibrahim Salifu who headed home from close range following a superb cross by Afriyie Barnieh.
The second goal arrived in the 71st minute courtesy of Boateng. The former Medeama attacker scored with a decent strike inside the box.
Hearts squandered a number of chances to get the crucial third goal after Saoura’s goalkeeper was shown a second yellow card.