Slavko Matic’s tenure as Hearts of Oak coach began with a win, as the Phobians rallied from behind to beat Bibiani GoldStars 2-1 in the Ghana Premier League on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Hearts of Oak, who had not won in three games before the league was suspended due to a court injunction, got off to a shaky start and were punished after 10 minutes when GoldStars forward Prince Owusu beat goalkeeper Richmond Ayi with a strike from outside the box.
GoldStars’ confidence grew as a result of the goal, and they frustrated Hearts of Oak even more as the first half ended one nil in their favour.
In the second, however, they were unable to maintain control. Their goalkeeper, Joseph Baah, was sent off in the 60th minute for intentionally striking Hearts of Oak striker Yassan Ouatching.
Matic’s men capitalised on the numerical advantage to turn the game in their favour. Substitute Isaac Mensah equalised in the 78th minute before Gladson Awako’s superb free-kick in the 88th minute gave Hearts of Oak their first league victory of the season.
The Serbian promised to win trophies after his unveiling earlier this month, but he will admit after his first game that there is still a lot of work to be done. He signed a two-year contract and has the board’s and management’s support to get things back on track.
He succeeded Samuel Boadu, who won the domestic treble in his first season and added another trophy the following season.
Matic has a lot to prove to Hearts of Oak fans, who still adore their former coach.