The first round of the Ghana Premier League has ended with some interesting statistics and magnificent performances from some clubs.
Many wouldn’t have predicted WAFA to be table toppers at the end of the first round but their stupendous performance has seen them occupying the top after 15 matches.
And of course, the same people wouldn’t have predicted that AshGold will be struggling to free themselves from the claws of relegation at the end of the first round. Maybe, the prediction before the season could have seen The Miners finishing in the top four.
However, the story is different now. The top 4 is occupied by an unfancied WAFA side followed by a determined Aduana Stars, an inspired Hearts of Oak and an unexpected Berekum Chelsea follow in that order.
Sheikh Tophic Sienu, a football writer and researcher, and a religious follower of the Ghana Premier League puts together a brief report after the first round of the season.
The report will center on the following sub-headings:
- Quality of play, pitches and coaches
- Outstanding players
- The new entrants
The first round of the league has been very exciting. Magnificent goals have been scored, breathtaking clearances have been made, sumptuous passes have been given and stupendous saves have been made.
WAFA are on top of the league in an astonishing run to the trophy despite being a lowly-fancied side before the season kicked off. Many are still wondering how WAFA, an academy side with an average age of 19 are occupying the top of the table. But the Sogakope lads showed class when they walloped Wa All Stars by 4-0 at their own backyard, drew 1-1 with Aduana Stars, pipped Bechem United in Bechem and slapped Elmina Sharks with a 2-1 away win. It was all clear after these results that WAFA were in for the kill. The Red Bull Arena is now a den where visiting sides are guaranteed unavoidable defeats. WAFA have picked 10 wins, 2 draws and 3 loses in this round.
Aduana Stars have kept their mission of winning this year’s league after missing out to Wa All Stars last season and have not been bad so far. Had it not been the shock from WAFA, Aduana Stars would be occupying the top spot by now. Aduana could have been the only side without defeat in the first round had it not been the loss to Dwarfs. That defeat changed their fortune. Regardless, they have 8 wins, 6 draws and a defeat.
Hearts did not start the season on a good note but Scottish trainer Frank Nuttal has been the instant magician to the side’s supersonic run. They have been undefeated in their last seven matches and have scored the second highest number of goals – 21, conceding 15. They have enjoyed seven wins, 5 draws and 3 defeats. The teacher-like Frank Nuttal has transformed the hitherto sinking Hearts side into what can be described as a winsome side.
Berekum Chelsea are surprisingly in the top four following great displays from key plyers like Brimah Mohammed, Alhaji Wahab, Stephen Sarfo and Seth Appiah. One major factor of their splendid show was their immediate-past coach Steven Pollack. The Blues have been convincing both home and away and their position on the table – 4th, shows.
Bechem United are 5th on the table, an indication that it has not been bad for them at all. They have squad in-depth, capable of winning the league but the entire team direction is key to any side that wants the title. They have not been bad at all but a top 4 finish in the first round wouldn’t have been bad for a side that played in the Confederation Cup this year.
Medeama and Asante Kotoko have been disappointing with their positions on the log, 6th and 7th respectively as many expected the two to have been at least in the top 4. It has not been good for Kotoko but we shall look at that at a special column.
For Wa All Stars, defending champions to be hovering around 9th position on the table is hugely embarrassing and utterly disappointing.
Ebusua Dwarfs and Inter Allies are at their usual mid-table zone where priority is placed on not being relegated and not the title.
Elmina Sharks have been impressive so far, at least among the three newly promoted sides. 11th on the table isn’t bad with some delightful football to soothe the taste of the fans.
Tema Youth are on course with their target, placing 12th in the quest to sustain their stay in the league. They have been topsy-turvy in their campaign so far but a better performance in the second round can place them better for the next season.
Liberty Professionals have been disappointing in the first round, lying 13th on the table, just a step away from the claws of relegation. .Much effort will be needed to inspire them to escape the drop in the second round.
At the bottom are three clubs, two household names – Olympics and AshGold and a newcomer – Bolga All Stars. Not the best of positions for AshGold in particular after winning the title two seasons ago. However, it appears Coach CK Akonnor will be able to guide them out of the pit. Olympic will have to double their efforts to avoid the drop while Bolga All Stars will need a miracle to survive.
... to be continued
By: Sheikh Tophic Sienu @desheikh1 on twitter