On this day, 10 November 2002 (Exactly 17 years ago today), Accra Hearts of Oak won the Premier League Trophy for the sixth successive season when they drew 1-1 with Bofoakwa Tano in their action-packed last league match at the Sunyani Coronation Park before a capacity crowd.
Among the dignitories who watched the epic encounter were Mr Kofi Nsiah, Secretary General of GFA, Ingatius Baffour Awuah, Sunyani District Chief Executive, Dr Kwesi Botchway, an aspiring presidential candidate of the NDC, Mr Mike Gizo and Dr Mustapha Ahmed, both MPs.
By this victory, Hearts set an enviable record of not only annexing the league cup six consecutive times but also being the only club in the country to have won the top scoring club and the goal-king award on six occasions.
No sooner had Cape Coast-based class One referee Essel Walker signalled the two teams into action than ubiquitous Bernard Don “Diouf” Bortey made incursions into Bofoakwa’s goal area and threatened goalkeeper Mohammed Alhassan with three powerful shots but the striker missed target on all occasions.
Bofoakwa took a surprise lead in the 16th minute when their striker Kwadwo Opoku beat goalkeeper James Nannor with a bulllet shot after receiving a neat pass from Pasco Amponsah and held on to this slim lead till half time. Hearts changed their pattern of play in the second half and mounted a sustained pressure on Bofoakwa.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 50th minute when Don Bortey scored the much-needed equaliser after beating a host of Bofoakwa defenders before planting the ball in the net to the admiration of their numerous supporters who had travelled from the length and breadth of the country to watch the match.
Hearts made two changes against Bofoakwa’s three in the second half. Kenneth Sarpong replaced Don Bortey while Massawudu Yahaya took over from Laryea Kingston.
Bofoakwa on the other hand, pulled out Kwaku Adu for Alhaji Iddrisu, Tahiru Addulai replaced Kwadwo Opoku while good-old Ben Kusi went in for Kwaku Duah. The changes did not, however, alter the score line.
The Sunyani DCE, assisted by the GFA secretary, presented the prestigious league cup to Hearts skipper, Joe Ansah who in turn, handed it over to Thomas Okine, the Chief Executive of the champion club.
After the match, thousands of Hearts supporters, some of them in a fleet of vehicles went through the principal streets of Sunyani to celebrate their club’s victory, lasting deep into the night.
Desperate Dawu win but to no avail
Dawu Youngsters managed a 1-0 victory over Obuasi Goldfields at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium but that could not save them from relegation after final league matches.
They join fellow Eastern region club Suhum Maxbees who were stuck at the bottom of the 16-club league while yet another Eastern region club, Power F/C who placed 14th won a play off against Dwarfs of 3 May 2003, to secure their stay in the premiership.
Don Bortey and Charles Taylor Finish as Top Scorers
Accra Hearts of Oak did not only win the 2002 Premier League but was also emerged as the top scoring side for the season with 72 goals. And the men who ensured that Hearts achieved the feat, the ‘terrible terror’ Charles Taylor and Bernard ‘Diop’ Don Bortey shared honours by jointly winning the season’s goalking award netting half of Hearts’. They registered 18 goals apiece.
18 – Charles Taylor, Don Bortey (Hearts)
12 – Godwin Ablordey (Kotoko)
10 – Kossi Noutsoujie (Goldfields) Wisdom Abbey (Hearts) Amui Quaye (Olympics)
On this day 10 November 1978 (Exactly 41 years ago today) Larry Holmes knocked out Alfredo Evangelist in round seven for the heavyweight boxing title at the Caesars Palace, Sports Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Larry Holmes peppered Alfredo Evangelista with hard left jabs and then knocked him out with a thunderous right hand in the seventh to retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight championship.
The scheduled 15-rounder at Caesars Palace was a mismatch from the start and the big right hand brought a merciful ending for the Spaniard.
Evangelista had gone 15 rounds in a losing title shot against Muhammad Ali May 16, 1977. But that Ali was out of shape at 230 pounds and mentally down.
On this night, however, Evangelista ran into a man who was in top condition and had something to prove. Holmes was trying to fight his way out of Ali’s shadow.
“Either quit or fight me,” yelled Holmes to Ali.
“I’m not going to wait for him or duck anyone else.” Most boxing people feel the chances of Holmes fighting Ali, who is recognized as champion by the World Boxing Association, are virtually nonexistent.
“I’ll fight Ken Norton or Jimmy Young or anyone else,” Holmes added, then said that his future plans will not be dictated by the media.
“It wasn’t an easy fight. We trained hard,” said Holmes of his first title defense. Holmes won the title at Caesars Palace in June the same year with a split decision over Ken Norton.
Holmes obviously trained hard, but it was just as obvious that the fight was an easy one.
“I used my left jab a lot,” said Holmes. “I thought I might be able to stop him on cuts.”
Holmes’ jab was not just a thing of beauty for boxing buffs.
It was not designed just to keep the challenger off balance. It was meant to inflict pain. It was a mean jab and it made a mess of Evangelista’s face.
At the end of six rounds, Evangelista’s face was badly swollen and he was bleeding from beneath the left eye. He was a picture in frustration.
Then, as the fight passed the two-minute mark in the seventh round and as Holmes was backing away, the champion smashed home a right to the jaw that dropped Evangelista to the floor. Evangelista got to his knees almost immediately, then pitched to his face to be counted out by referee Richard Greene.
The victory, in Holmes’ first defense of the title he won on a split decision from Ken Norton at Caesars Palace on June 9, was his 29th in an unbeaten pro career.
Evangelista, who weighed 208¼ to 214½ for Holmes, was the European champion, but his standing as a major factor in the heavyweight division may have disappeared.
The 23-year-old Uruguayan native, who is a citizen of Spain, never did any damage to Holmes. He hardly ever hit him as Holmes used his four-inch advantage in reach to perfection. Evangelista’s only chance was to jump in and try to land to the head, but Holmes foiled him at every turn.
On this day 10 November 1983 (Exactly 36 years ago today)’Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler retained his WBA, WBC and IBF world middleweight boxing titles with a 15-round unanimous points decision over Roberto Durán at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; first time Hagler taken the distance as champion.
After 13 rounds, Duran was ahead by one point on two scorecards and even on the third, but Hagler finished strong to eke out the victory. It was the first time Hagler, who entered the bout with an eight-fight stoppage streak, was taken the distance as champion.
On this day 10 November 2003 (Exactly 16 years ago today) Kim Clijsters of Belgium became the first female tennis player to earn $US4 million in a season when she overwhelmed Amélie Mauresmo 6-2, 6-0 for the WTA Tour Championship at the Staples Center, Los Angeles
On this day 10 November 2013 (Exactly 6 years ago today) Spaniard Marc Márquez was crowned the 2013 MotoGP World Champion, after finishing third in the final race of the season at Valencia.
At 20 years, 266 days, Márquez became the youngest-ever MotoGP World Champion after a phenomenal debut season drew to a close with a tense decider at Valencia. Jorge Lorenzo, his only remaining rival for the crown and the defending World Champion, took victory but it was not enough to deny Márquez his place in history.
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH