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5 things we learned from game week 1 of the Ghana Premier League

Kotoko Poku Kotoko were held to a 1-1 draw by Eleven Wonders in Accra on Sunday

Mon, 16 Nov 2020 Source: Wepea Butungu/ Contributor

We have had to wait a long time to see local football action and although the prevailing circumstances have not made it easy the local league is finally back. Some very decent organisation from the GFA and other relevant authorities meant that Gameweek 1 of the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League took place last weekend. Here are five things we picked up from the weekend’s round of matches.

COVID-19 WILL BE A BIG FACTOR THIS SEASON

Needless to say, the pandemic currently holding the world hostage was always going to impact the league season and we did not have to wait long to see its effects.

The game between Accra Hearts of Oak and Aduana Stars which was to be the opening act for the first weekend of action was postponed as a result of complications due to COVID-19. Hearts of Oak, “will need further tests before playing a match” according to the GFA statement on the postponement.

The various protocols will be further tested in the event of a positive test for any of the league clubs and it is the hope of all fans of local football that these protocols will be efficient enough to allow the league to progress with minimum disruption.

MATCH FITNESS AN EARLY CONCERN FOR SOME CLUBS

The current climate meant that many teams were not able to organise a normal preseason and the result of that was some teams were not looking as sharp as they would like to be.

This is the usual thing at the start of a season but it was exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions on when teams can play friendly matches and other preparatory activities for the season.

I am sure however that as the season wears on there will be an improvement in fitness levels and we will begin to see more intense matches than what we have witnessed already.

THE LEAGUE’S UNPREDICTABILITY HAS NOT BEEN LOST

This is a particularly good thing and I was very happy seeing some of the results that this first game week has provided for us.

The entertainment value of most of the games was very high and this can only be positive for the league and its audience. Dwarfs goalkeeper Razak Issah stepped up with a brilliant goal from a free kick to give Ebusua Dwarfs a point at home to Elmina Sharks.

King Faisal battled back courageously against WAFA from three goals down and although they could not get anything from the game the 4-3 result was quite a spectacle. I certainly hope that as the season progresses we will continue to get these large doses of drama and excitement from across the league.

EARLY FAVOURITES STUMBLE

It was very interesting to see how the teams touted as favourites to win the GPL fared in the first match. Kotoko were unconvincing as they dropped two points against Techiman Eleven Wonders.

Medeama were unable to secure victory either as Accra Great Olympics fought hard to secure a draw against a Medeama team that many are touting as favourites for this season’s title.

The spoils were also shared at the Obuasi Len Clay stadium as Ashanti Gold lost their halftime lead to the visiting Karelia United. The race for the title will be fun to watch as always and it has got off to a great start.

GOALS ARE NOT A PROBLEM FOR MOST GPL TEAMS

There were some very entertaining matches in the first weekend of the Ghana Premier League and after 6 games, 21 goals have already gone in across the grounds. If this is a precursor for what is to come this season then we are all in for a goal-filled campaign.

Many defences looked lethargic on the first day and there may yet be an improvement in that department across the league. At the moment, however, it’s goals galore and that has made the league very attractive for fans across the country.

Source: Wepea Butungu/ Contributor