So there you have it: the Ghana Premier League, following H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s announcement on Sunday that contact sports could emerge from the blanket of COVID-19, is set to return in November.
The season will be new, with the previous edition annulled, given it has already been half-a-year since its last games were played. Daily Mail GH relives some of the terminated 2019/20 campaign’s most memorable fixtures.
1. THE ADEBAYOR SHOW
Berekum Chelsea had been wrecking everyone’s home until Inter Allies visited, armed with their own one-man wrecking-ball, Victorien Adebayor. When the Nigerien forward was done with Chelsea — two delightfully taken goals and an assist to garnish an all-round sterling performance — and Allies headed back to the capital, the hosts were feeling quite sore.
2. THE ‘SUPER CLASH’ DELIVERS AGAIN
Ghana’s biggest club game, between Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko, had lost some of its legendary spark over the years, but Matchday 6 brought a renaissance. The FA put some great work into getting the fans expectant and in attendance, and it paid off big-time. From Justice Blay’s brilliantly headed opener to Joseph Esso’s leveler and the late Matthew Anim Cudjoe boy-wonder act that culminated in Naby Keita’s last-gasp winner for Kotoko from the spot, this Super Clash’s menu — the most delicious in a long while — was right up there with any ever served.
3. DRAMA IN DORMAA
Well, where do I start from?
Kotoko reportedly taking a longer-than-usual route to Dormaa Ahenkro and its Nana Agyemang Badu I Park as some weird ‘precautionary measure’? Aduana holding them up at the gates for reasons just as strange? Or, even more bizarrely, the fact that both teams played the entire first half with 10 men? Nah; lemme just stick with the late, late Samuel Bioh winner, after which, it seemed, the world stopped and nothing else mattered.
4. OLY PAY OVERDUE RENT TO ACCRA’S TRUE LANDLORDS
Kotoko had Hearts stunned on the latter’s turf earlier in the season, but the Phobians were in no mood to have another rival — especially a noisy one that lives just next-door — pick points off them. Hearts claimed all three, and in some style, beating Great Olympics 4-0 to establish themselves as kings of Accra. Olympics, it turned out, were no landlords at all; no, not even neighbours — just tenants, with overdue rent to settle. They paid, with change.
5. WAFA GO WILD
WAFA looked drained of their home strengths, suffering some poor results at a venue where they once went scores of games without defeat. And so Ashgold must have fancied their chances when they visited the Academy on Matchday 12, only to find WAFA at their devastating best. The Miners had goals mined out of them, six in all, throwing their ranks into confusion thereafter. WAFA would lose their next two games, including one in Sogakope, but their point had already been hammered home.
6. THE EPIC NOBODY SAW COMING
On behalf of everyone else who wasn’t too pleased with how ‘easily’ King Faisal and Olympics were re-admitted to the Premier League ahead of the new season, we’d like to apologise to both clubs. Their February clash in Kumasi was box-office stuff, as they battered each other to bits in a seven-goal thriller Olympics narrowly won, leaving us craving more and wondering, for a moment, why they hadn’t been let back into the league sooner.
7. FOOTBALL ON STEROIDS
Seven goals were up in the air again, this time at Liberty’s Carl Reindorf Park when Aduana Stars rolled into town. League-leading scorer Yahaya Mohammed got two of those, with Liberty scoring the other five in a game that seemed to run on steroids from start to finish.
8. THE STUFF OF DREAMS
Fresh from the loss to Kotoko, Hearts made the short trip to the Eastern Region where Dreams FC awaited. It was a tense game, settled only by the odd goal — but, boy, what a goal it was! A true work of art, constructed with sweet exchanges between Hearts’ midfield trio of Benjamin Afutu Kotei, Emmanuel Nettey, and Frederick Ansah Botchway, all building up nicely to Kofi Kordzi’s smart finish. You just wish, if it were at all possible, that the goal could be framed and hung on a wall.
NY Frimpong — Daily Mail GH