Ghana Premier League returned with matchday six action after the Fifa break, and here are five highlights from the weekend’s round of games
Duncan headed for the inevitable
Many will struggle to point out the last time Asante Kotoko took to the bottommost position on the league standings. That pretty much sums up the Porcupine Warriors’ disappointing seasons so far.
On Sunday, Yahaya Mohammed fetched the only goal of the game as Kotoko suffered yet their third reversal of the campaign in uncharacteristic fashion, condemning them to the 16th position. Coach David Duncan has been under intense pressure and on hindsight, matchday five’s 1-0 defeat of Hasaacas appears to have done nothing but postponed an inevitable exit by some hours, days or weeks.
Kenichi Yatsuhashi is human after all
Kenichi Yatsuhashi had been on a glorious ride for the past few weeks, and it’s not even because he’s the first Japanese to have landed a major coaching role in Ghana. After matchday five, the 46-year-old had admirably led the Phobians to the top of the league, two points ahead of second-placed Wa All Stars.
And it’s the manner of their wins that had prematurely suggested that the Japanese tactician was somewhat out of this world. The Phobians shattered a 47-year winless record at the Tarkwa T&A Park by a 2-0 defeat of Medeama in week two, and followed up with a dramatic 3-1 win over Inter Allies where they crawled back from two goals down.
On Sunday, however, the Japanese was given a timely reminder of his humanly status, having watched on helplessly as his side succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat to Wa All Stars at the Accra Sports Stadium.
All Stars are the team to beat
All Stars are truly ‘the last man standing’ as they remain the only side to have avoided defeat so far. That had been a bragging right shared with Hearts and Ashgold ahead of the weekend’s round of games. On Sunday, coach Enos Kwame Adipah’s side brought down a Hearts side that had hastily been tagged title favourites after a run of good games, while the Miners also fell to Liberty in Dansoman.
With a result as resounding as a 3-1 win at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Wa-based outfit deserve their place at the top of the standings after matchday six.
Ashanti Gold burnt into ashes
Ahead of matchday five, Ashanti Gold had gone winless in the last four games – all of which had ended in deadlocks. And we thought that was bad for a reigning champion.
On Sunday, nevertheless, they were handed a 5-1 humiliation at the Dansoman Carl Reindorf Park by Liberty Professionals. Among others, the result simply reveals in no ambiguous terms that the Miners are still far from the side that claimed last season’s title. The Obuasi-based side boast of just a win this campaign, and have also been cruelly handed an early elimination from the Caf Champions League.
Addo’s return not going as planned
Inter Allies have picked up just a win in six games so far, and there’s no second-guessing their disappointment on Hebert Addo’s return to the side. The former Aduana Stars coach led the Eleven-Is-To-One to a creditable sixth position finish in 2013-14 from the relegation-trapped, before leaving for Hearts of Oak the following season. In his absence, Paa Kwesi Fabin took over, leading the side to another sixth finish last season.
However, with Fabin quitting the job to fully concentrate on the national U-17 male soccer team, and the Tema-based side wasted little time in reappointing the out-of-job Addo in October. That was largely on the back drop of his previous good fortunes with the club. But after six rounds of matches, Allies have fallen into the relegation zone where they are tied on points with rock-bottom Kotoko. They have also generously gifted the second highest number of goals.