By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
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Ghanaian giants Accra Hearts of Oak geared off their pre-season campaign to a false start after slipping to a 2-1 defeat against former Premier League rivals Susubribi United on Sunday afternoon.
The Phobians, under the tutelage of assistant coach Stephen Abugri cruised to a 24th minute lead after influential winger Winful Cobbinah converted from the spot at the Old Tafo Rovers Park but Susubiri staged an incensed second-half display to win the game with Yaw Korankye (49th) and Charles Ankomah (72nd) winning the game for the host in the Eastern Region.
Abugri, who is now in charge pending the arrival of new head coach, fielded a strong side captained by glovesman Tetteh Luggard while new South African signing Mason October partnered Ivorian international Robin Gnagne in central defence.
There were spots in the line-up for gifted midfielder Emmanuel Hayford while Romeo Agban, Ollenu Ashitey and Selasi Adjei completed an attacking trident.
Hearts enjoyed a fine start to the tie as persistent pressure forced a Susubiri United defender to handle the ball inside the box and Cobbinah stepped up to dispatch the kick with the touch of confidence and expertise.
Hearts could have doubled the lead minutes after but Selasi Adjei missed a sitter.
After the break, the host came into the game strongly and equalised through Yaw Korankye. Sweet free-kick from Eugene Danso is headed back across goal for Korankye to nod home.
Hearts were hoping to restore their lead but a 72nd minute goalkeeper howler by Luggard gifted Susubiri an opportunity to claim the winner and Charles Ankomah took full advantage, calmly burying the ball into the net.