Samuel Afful scored a sensational first-half brace to help Sekondi Hasaacas keep their top-four dreams alive with a 3-0 trouncing of Hearts of Oak at the Essipong Stadium in the Ghana Premier League on Wednesday.
The 2014 Ghana CHAN striker scored two first-half goals (13th and 23rd) minutes to stun the former African champions before a packed home stadium before midfielder Augustine Arhinful bent an eye-catching free-kick in for the third with 6 minutes left for play.
Hearts of Oak head coach Mohammed Polo altered the line-up that defeated Bechem United on Sunday by introducing youngster Hamza Fuseini to replace the injured Philip Boampong while Selasi Adjei was also named in Eric Kumi's place.
Hasaacas had the experienced George Owu in between the sticks while Ghana CHAN attacker Samuel Afful partnered striker Frederick Quayson who was featuring against his former club.
The vibrating aura in Sekondi is for Hasmal to finish among the top-four this season following their impressive second-half display and they did enough to demonstrate their readiness to snatch a berth in the position by scoring twice within the opening 23 minutes.
Afful, whose artistry and talent has been likened to the former Super Eagles star JJ Okocha and carries his name, shot them ahead as early as the 13th. Though Afful's finish had the mark of brilliance, it was a defensive blunder that cost the Phobians.
Andoh and Gnage failed to clear and the 24-year-old found the top root corner of the net with a wonderful volley.
The goal had always been coming and the source was in doubt. Afful had missed a header by an inch and a minute later he found the net.
Hasaacas failed to allow Hearts to settle down before they increased their tally. Afful grabbing a brace in the 23rd minute. Hasaacas won an attacking throw, Quayeson outmuscled Gnagne and Nuru and lifted a cross and Afful dived to head.
After the break, Polo shifted Hayford to the left and Selasi Adjei to the right but this yielded little results as Hasaacas coasted to victory at the Gyendu Park.
Augustine Ahenful added the third in the dying-embers to firmly put the game beyond the reach of the Phobians.