It was a dramatic and nervy ending during the MTN FA Cup Round of 16 match between holders Accra Hearts of Oak and Elmina Sharks see the defending champions bulldoze their way past Sharks after sensational 8-7 penalty shouts triumph.
Hearts of Oak took the lead in the game through a 31st minute header from Isaac Mensah following a quality corner kick delivery by the legendary Sulley Ali Muntari. Hearts of failed to hold on to the lead for long as Elmina Sharks brought the scoreline to a 1-1 level few minutes after the recess through Ishmael Antwi.
Sharks pressed on further to take a dramatic lead against Hearts of Oak in the 77th minute with a strike from Ishmael Mensah again following a howler from Hearts of Oak goalkeeper Richmond Ayi.
A late injury to Sharks goalkeeper Joseph Essam at the 85th minute led to delay in making a substitution for goalkeeper Adom, which forced a 10-minute added time after the 90 minutes had elapsed.
Substitute Patrick Razak made a run with the ball into the box of Elmina Sharks with just 2 minutes to end of time and referee awarded a contentious penalty to Hearts of Oak which was nicely converted by substitute Kofi Kordzi to bring the score to a 2-2 at full time.
The game then headed into a penalty shootouts and the drama was just breathtaking one. Kofi Kordzi took the first kick of the shootouts and had his effort saved by goakeeper Adom. Elmina Sharks on the other hand, converted all their first three kicks but missed the next three.
Hearts of Oak came from behind to bring the score to a 3-3 which continued till the winner as secured. Goalkeeper Richmond Ayi, whose howler gave Elmina Sharks a 2-1 lead during regulation time, delivered heroic saves for the Phobians, making as many as four (4) saves from the spot kick. Daniel Afriyie Barnieh converted the 8th kick for Hearts of Oak and Sharks missed theirs, giving the defending Champions the chance to continue their quest to defend the title.
Hearts of Oak won the shootouts by 8-7 and have now joined the likes of Dreams FC, King Faisal, Bechem United, Aduana Stars and Tamale City FC as confirmed candidates for the quarter final draw.