The second week of matches in the Ghana premier league couldn’t have kicked off in better fashion with Edubiase pipping Ebusua Dwarfs to a 1-0 victory in the Friday afternoon kick-off.
In truth, the scoreline made Dwarfs look too good because anyone who watched the game would agree that Edubiase deserved to have scored more goals. In a rather surprising fashion, experienced trainer of Dwarfs J.E. Sarpong seethed into his players, accusing them of sabotaging his tactics. With Sarpong, this isn’t so surprising after all but it’s only been two games into the season. There’s plenty of time to redeem themselves with a home game against Hearts of Oak next up for the Cape Coast-based side.
Things really exploded on Saturday afternoon though, with six goals scored in a thrilling encounter at the Essipong Stadium in Sekondi. Returnee striker Eric Bekoe stood up to the task and led Hasmal to a not-so-convincing 4-2 victory against Techiman City. After going 3-0 up thanks to impressive right back Amos Korankye’s effort and Bekoe’s brace, Techiman City threatened a comeback with the impressive Baba Mahama and Roger Nortey each scoring to reduce the score to 3-2. From then on, nerves kicked in for Hasaacas and the comeback was almost complete for the Real Citizens when Issaka Ibrahim’s lob ball over keeper Geroge Owu struck the side post. Truly nail-biting stuff. However, Papa Arko’s late strike ensured Hasmal opened their home grounds in the 2015/16 season with a victory.
Kumasi will go two weeks consecutively without a league game after Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s game against Ashgold was moved to March 9 because of the participation in the CAF Champions league. This leaves us with just five more games on Sunday. And as usual, FOOTY-GHANA’S Fentuo Tahiru brings you predictions on the games.
Match: Berekum Chelsea Vs WAFA
Venue: Golden City Park, Berekum
After losing their first game to regional rivals Techiman City, Berekum Chelsea host a very impressive WAFA side who are still buzzing following their Match Day 1 dispatch of Kumasi Asante Kotoko. As impressive as the academy boys were at home, their record on the road is very abysmal. They won just one game away from home the whole of last season, a 1-0 victory in Tema against Inter Allies. In comparison Berekum Chelsea did not lose a single game at home last season. This has led people to suggest WAFA are comfortable playing on astro-turfs. The pitch in Berekum is nothing close to an astro turf. This means WAFA won’t get to play their swift-passing game.
The last time these two sides met in Berekum, it ended in a comfortable 2-0 victory for the home side. It won’t be too different this time round.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 WAFA
Match: Aduana Stars Vs Wa All Stars
Venue: Agyemang Badu Park, Dormaa
All the big name signings of Aduana Stars must come to the party on Sunday afternoon if they’re to be viewed as serious title contenders. The manner in which they were swept apart by Inter Allies was quite embarrassing for a team that spent close to Ghc 1m on players. The likes of Yahaya Mohammed, Zakaria Mumuni, Noah Martey and Richard Mpong must prove why so much money was doled out to bring them in. The controversy that led to Godfred Saka being stripped off the captaincy didn’t help matters in camp either.
One thing is certain though-Aduana Stars are very good at home dropping just 6 points at home the whole of last season. You have to feel sorry for Wa All Stars because you would’ve thought they should be able to build on that 3-0 victory against Hasaacas. But at Dormaa, their chances of winning are slim. Experienced Aduana captain Emmanuel Akuoko and Stephen Adams should return to the starting line-ups after they both missed the league opener.
Prediction: Aduana Stars 2-0 Wa All Stars
Match: Liberty Professionals Vs Inter Allies
Venue: Alhaji Sly Tetteh Park, Dansoman
Liberty Professionals are looking for a recovery victory following their opening day misfortunes against Bechem United. And it couldn’t have come against a stiffer opposition than regional rivals Inter Allies FC. Liberty have lost some key players from last season. Although they can be trusted to churn out new talent to adequately replace the departed players, I indicated last week that that means their season will start on a slow note. That’s why it’s hard to see them winning this game even though they are playing at home.
Allies conceded the least number of goals last season but the man that was at the heart of that defence Baba Mensah is now in Sweden. Having said that, I can’t see Liberty winning.
Prediction: Liberty 1-1 Inter Allies
Match: Dreams FC Vs Bechem United
Venue: Dawu Park
All the fun-fair in the Ghana premier league will be at the Dawu Park when new-comers Dreams FC welcome Bechem United. Dreams have impressed a lot of people since the club was formed in 2009. It’s become one of the most professionally run clubs, if not the most professionally run club in the country. And after unveiling a well-branded new team bus, Dreams are truly living the dream at the moment. On the field, they were equally the most impressive side in the opening round of matches with Johnson Owusu Oppong scoring to hand them priceless 3 points in Cape Coast against Dwarfs.
There’s plenty of experience Coach C.K. Akunnor can call upon to deliver the goods when needed. Eric Gawu joined them half way into their Division one league campaign last season and his contribution was immense. The likes of Smallboy Korbah, Emmanuel Hayford and Aaron Amoah all turning out for Dreams, there’s no reason they can’t keep dreaming.
Bechem United are coming into the game after sacking their Belgian trainer Erradi Mohammed Adil, only four or so weeks after bringing him in. Some say he was belligerent, while his inability to speak English didn’t help matters either. This is the first time these two sides are meeting in the Ghana premier league.
Prediction: Dreams FC 2-0 Bechem United
Match: Medeama SC Vs Hearts of Oak
Venue: T & A Park, Tarkwa
If there’s any game that will truly test the credentials of Accra Hearts of Oak, it is this game against Medeama Sporting club. Under coach Tom Strand, Medeama have become a very difficult team to beat, both home and away. In fact, the Mauves and Yellows have not lost a home game in the Ghana premier league since February 20, 2014. That’s two years running without losing a game at home. They also boast a better head-to-head record against the Phobians, winning 7 of their total 16 games played in the league with Hearts of Oak only managing 4 victories. To add to Hearts of Oak’s woes, Coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi’s team will be missing the services of impressive new boy Samudeen Ibrahim who is facing two weeks out injured. He was named Man of their Match in their opening day victory over Edubiase FC.
After coming off the bench to score his debut goal for Hearts of Oak, striker Samuel Yeboah should start this game. But it might not be enough to ensure “sushi” football triumphs in Tarkwa. If Hearts can come out of this unscathed, I’d be half convinced about their quality. But it’s difficult to see that happening.
Prediction: Medeama 2-0 Hearts of Oak