The Blind Pass: A weekly feature on the GPL - The best of the first round
All too soon the first round of the Ghana premier league has come to an end. It served the quirks and glitches but still generated that unique veneration that gave even the least enthusiastic football bunch the impeller to follow with keen interest.
The last round of games in the first round produced four wins and four draws apiece with a goal haul of 21 at eight centres.
Champions Ashanti Gold SC look to have surrendered their title already drawing blank again at home against West Africa Football Academy.
All Stars maintained top spot at the close of round one with a last gasp winner against Berekum Chelsea at the Golden city. It was another goal feast at Dormaa as Aduana Stars overpowered regional rivals Bechem United 4-2 in a six goal thriller.
Asante Kotoko finished the round strongly with an emphatic 4-2 win over debutants Techiman City FC. New Edubiase United’s quest for safety hit another snag as they fell 2-0 to Medeama SC in a week where all their fellow contenders picked up valuable points.
Inter Allies and Ebusua Dwarfs held their own to pick points off home specialists Hasaacas and Liberty Professionals respectively. Hearts of Oak held Dreams FC in a 1 all drawn game to complete an unbeaten run away from home in the first round.
THE INTERVAL – The GHPL story as told by THE BLIND PASS to the halfway point..
The big kick off which had been shrouded in a dilemma because of a supposed interlocutory injunction got off to a flying start on the 20th February, 2016. It was a matchday of bliss for a chunk of the debutants as they started life at their respective new clubs on a high. Samuel Yeboah, Isaac Twum, Maxwell Baako, Issaka Ibrahim and Bernard Ofori were all on the scoresheet in their debut games in week 1.
Match week 2 saw returnee stars putting in a massive shift to dispel the myth surrounding them. Mostly maligned, mocked and tagged as dead wood, the performance of returnees Saddick Adams, Eric Bekoe, Ernest Papa Arkoh and Mustapha Essuman ushered in a new dawn and erased that notion to a greater extent.
At the close of week 3, categories had already emerged with Samuel Tetteh and Aduana Stars as the “LONE RANGERS” in the league. Aduana Stars were the only side without a point whereas Samuel Tetteh was the only player to have scored a hattrick.
All Stars and Hearts of Oak formed the “IMPREGNABLE DUO” with no goals conceded in 270 minutes. With their prdigree and/or form prior to the league, the performance of Aduana Stars, Medeama SC, Hasaacas, Kotoko and Dwarfs bestowed on them the “QUAKLE QUINTET” bereft of ideas.
Strikers came to the fore and rightly so because it’s a department which had seen a decline since the exploits of Ishmeal Addo and Eric Bekoe. By match day 4 strikers had already announced their presence with Samuel Tetteh leading the pack on 4 goals closely followed by Saddick Adams and Eric Bekoe with 3 apiece.
He arrived untried, untested, unknown, inexperienced and new to the terrain. Easily the most disrespected and defamed gaffer in recent times, Japanese trainer Kenechi Yatsuhashi defied the odds and naysayers to emerge as the fledgling Messiah after he oversaw a mind blowing comeback win against Inter Allies in week 5.
An atomistic show of proactivity tickled the ancient monster of our game. Hooliganism took centre stage and the league was nearly marred at this point in the sixth week.
In week 7, one needed no soothsayer to predict the predicament of Ashanti Gold SC. With supporters disgruntled, management shattered and shoulders of players dropped after back to back defeats it was clear champions were in shambles and the centre wasn’t holding in Obuasi.
It was a question of a plot twist or just a flattery to deceive as the resurgence of Wa All Stars continued.
The message was loud and clear after that specter of a comical show by West Africa Football Academy in week 8. “Never again should football fans be treated to a theatrical display on a green stage” was the clarion call.
Week 9 saw a massive coup in the shape of wins away from home. Three teams won on the road and it still remains the highest frequency of away victories in a week in the season. Hearts of Oak, Liberty Professionals and New Edubiase United completes the triad who won at difficult grounds on their travel in a league in which away wins are far and few.
Our brand of football was projected to the world. It was a week with the super clash on the bill. The arena was filled to the rafters with chants from both sides of the divide circling around in high decibels. Simply a great piece of advertisement for our local game when Hearts and Kotoko locked horns.
Week 11 coincided with an indelible occasion in our football history. The 15th anniversary of May 9th was upon us. Forever in our hearts, we continue to wish our fallen brethren a peaceful rest.
In week 12, there was a landmark event in the annals of association football when handlers of the league saw through the first ever competitive league game behind closed doors. Hearts were at the receiving end of this punishment and Hasaacas were their guest at the Ohene Djan Sports stadium.
At the close of week 13, the stage was set for a three horse race involving Hearts, Kotoko and Aduana Stars. It was expected to hot up and blaze like the flame in the belly of the beast.
Barely a week after the widespread hint of an emerging three horse race, Wa All Stars steps up, calls it’s bluff and renders it a mere fiction out of wild imaginations. Emergence of a three horse race into demergence in week 14.
At the end of an action packed first round of the Ghana premier league All Stars maintains top spot whilst New Edubiase United languishes at the bottom with no breather.
The BLIND PASS with an incisive INTERVAL at the halfway point. The story continues in the second round…