On this day in 1969: Hearts of Oak held a Pele-lead Santos side in Accra

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On this day, February 6th in 1969 (51 years ago), Accra Hearts of Oak held Brazilian club Santos FC led by 3 times World Cup winner and patently one of the greatest to ever kick the ball Edson Arantes do Nascimento “Pele” to a 2-2 draw in a friendly match at the Accra Sports Stadium. The Brazilians were on tour in Africa.

Accra Hearts of Oak broke the deadlock in the 27th minute, Abeka Ankrah found the net with a brilliant shot, one which could have made even the great Pele envious.

Two minutes later, the Phobians had the chance to double their lead, but George “Ga Mantse” Alhassan couldn’t hit the target, his shot was just inches away from hitting the net.

With just few minutes to go into the break, Pele struck to level matters. The game went into the break leveled, 1-1.

Santos were in control of the game after the recess, but they didn’t do much to trouble the Phobians or change the scoreline.

In 55th minute, Ghana’s own version of “Pele” Amusa Gbadamoshie reinstated the Phobians’ lead. He put the ball into the net after a scuffle with the goalkeeper, 2-1.

The visitors who were not in the mood to be beaten scored again in the 67th minute to pull parity, Douglas who came on as a sub was the scorer, 2-2.

Hearts of Oak from then had glorious two chances to win the game. George Alhassan put the ball in the net, but had celebrations cut short, the linesman raised his flag for an offside. Amusa Gbadamoshie also missed a last minute chance, one which would have definitely won the day for Hearts.

The referee blew his whistle for the final time, the game ended 2-2.

It was a great spectacle for the Phobians who were in their 6th year without the Premier league title when they welcomed Brazilian giants Santos, Hearts of Oak within that time watched arch foes Asante Kotoko win the league 4 times. Santos FC on the other hand were in fine form and had just completed the double.

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