Hearts of Oak began their 2023/24 Ghana Premier League on a poor note as they got stunned by Real Tamale United (RTU) in their opening game at the Aliu Mahama Stadium on Friday night.
The Phobians with an all-new technical team and significant changes to the playing body were poised to hit the ground running with an impressive show on the opening day of the much-anticipated campaign. However, their opponents who have managed positive results against the former Ghana champions maintained their form with a slim victory.
After a first half which saw no goals despite the ambitious efforts of the Pride of the North, Hearts of Oak were hoping to announce their presence in the second half but RTU RTU gave them more to consider in terms of the new season.
The introduction of new signings Evans Adomako and Wanet Ramos as well as Glid Otanga in the second half by coach Martin Koopman did not yield the desired results as RTU maintained a stronger momentum.
The decisive moment arrived when Eric Owusu Afriyie nodded home the vital goal from a corner in injury time to secure all three points for the Tamale-based side.
The defeat means, despite a remarkable pre-season campaign which saw the Phobians record numerous goals against their opponents, they would have to wait until they host Nsoatreman at the Accra Sports Stadium next weekend to seek a win in the new season.
Meanwhile, the victory will serve as a confidence booster for RTU who will go ahead to prepare for their first away game of the season against promoted side Bofoakwa Tano.