Today in History – Accra Hearts of Oak battle Brazil’s Pele in a friendly match


Today in history, exactly 51 years ago, On the 6th February 1969, Accra Hearts of Oak were held to a 2-2 drawn game by a Pele-led Santos FC of Brazil in an international friendly at the Accra Sports Stadium.

George ‘Ga Mantse’ Alhassan and Pele

Striker Abeka Ankrah opened the scoring  in the 27th minute of the game, however, Edson Arantes do Nascimento known as Pelé struck to pull the guests level before the break.

Not in the temperament to be beaten, Ghana’s own ‘Pele’ Amusa Gbadamoshie, reestablished Hearts’ lead in the subsequent half. However midfielder Edu earned the incomparable Brazilian side a meriting draw.

Accra Hearts of Oak were denied a piece of history by Referee George Lamptey and his assistant, who flagged wrongly for offside, when George ‘Ga Mantse’ Alhassan had prodded home to make it 3-2.

Despite the draw, Accra Hearts of Oak  still wrote their names in the history books by holding the giants, Santos FC from Brazil to a drawn game.

Santos FC had gone on a tour of Africa in 1969, led by the player, who would become one of the greatest ever to play the beautiful game, Pele.

Accra Hearts of Oak were in their 8th year without the league title when they welcomed the mighty Brazilian side, Santos FC that had dominated the Brazilian league, winning the title five consecutive years, and even became the first side to complete a quadruple.


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