Hearts injured midfielders Emmanuel Nettey and Caleb Amankwa expected to return in Caf Champions League game against Wydad Casablanca

Hearts of Oak are hoping to have Caleb Amankwah and Emmanuel Nettey in their squad for Sunday’s clash against Wydad Casablanca in the Caf Champions League.

The pair sustained injuries in their 2-0 win over Guinean side CI Kamsar and have not trained since then. Thanks to Kofi Kordzi opener and Salim Adams later piped the Guinean outfit.

They will welcome Wydad Athletic Club for a first round clash at the Accra Sports Stadium this weekend, While they are hoping to get the best of results against the Moroccan giants, they faced squad depletion after the injuries of the two midfielders.

However, the latest comments from the club’s spokesperson means Hearts of Oak could be boosted ahead of Sunday’s tricky clash. In his talk, Opare Addo reveals the players are responding to medical treatment which they can return for WAC’s game.

“Even though there have been some knocks, the medical team is working so well on them and things look positive (for their return).

“They may be available for selection considering how good the medical team is working on them. We are hoping to get them fit so we can use them against WAC,” the club’s spokesperson Opare Addo said.

Hearts may have what it takes to beat the North African side and the green light for restricted number of fans to attend the game could also enhance their chances for carrying the day.

In their first game against Kamsar, Hearts’ request to allow fans into the Stadium was overlooked by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) due to coronavirus fears. Despite that, the Ghana Premier League champions managed to beat their Guinean opponents 2-0 in Ghana’s capital.

Kamsar nearly pulled a surprise in Ghana after realizing the game is over only a one-legged tie, seemly pushing the game to penalty shootouts. The first leg clash in Guinea was completely cancelled due to the recent Guinea coup that saw the overthrow of President Alpha Conde.

Caf ruled; a one-off game needs to be played at the home ground of the opposing team (Hearts of Oak) as the Phobians stood firm to brush aside Kamsar launching massive attack in the last seven minutes.

Second half substitute Kofi Kordzi broke the deadlock with a spectacular free kick to the right posts before another sub Salim Adams made sure the Guineans are shown the exit door in the prelims of this season’s Caf Champions League.

Meeting Wydad Casablanca has become different for the fans after CAF given green light to Hearts through the GFA’s initial request to admit fans. The Accra based side can now allow 2, 000 fans to enter the Stadium and that could be an extra force for the Ghanaian side.

“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to exceptionally allow the presence of 2,000 spectators for the TotalEnergies CAF CL 2021/22 – Hearts of Oak (GHA) Vs W.A.C (MAR) – Match 45, a statement released by the GFA in a letter to Hearts on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to the GFA, the continent’s governing body reiterated that the CAF and FIFA covid-19 match protocols clearly state that all matches must be played behind closed doors.

It however added that it has taken the decision to exceptionally grant the GFA and Hearts of Oak’s request after analyzing and assessing the safety & security situation at the Accra Sports Stadium.

“Accordingly, a decision has been taken to exceptionally allow the presence of 2,000 spectators given that the National Safety & Security Officer (Julius Ben Emunah) and Club Safety & Security Officer will coordinate all safety measures on the aforementioned match”.

“We kindly ask your cooperation to fully comply with the above decision, while noting that in case of non-respect, your federation will be subject to disciplinary sanctions by CAF”, Raul Chipenda Development Director stated in the letter.

First game opener Kofi Kordzi has reacted to the impact of the absence of supporters after the victory over Club Industriel Kamsar.

“It was painful without them at the stadium and we felt their absence because we needed that atmosphere. We were worried when we heard the fans won’t be coming,” he told Kumasi-based Pure FM in an interview.

The game against Kamsar was Hearts’ first Caf Champions League in 13 years when they last played against Gabonese side FC 105 Libreville. Hearts were crushed out in the prelims after falling behind on 3-4 aggregate.

The Ghanaian side lost 3-0 in the first leg but failed to overturn the deficit in the second leg where they beat FC 105 Libreville 3-1.

The winner between Hearts and Wydad will progress to the group stages of the competition while the loser drops to the Caf Confederation Cup.


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