FEATURE: Are our goal kings in the Ghana Premier League credible?

Published on: 24 October 2017

Football, the world over, is played for a purpose - goals. Teams that fail to score end up winning nothing while those who score win a lot. Players who score are hailed by all and those who fail to score, especially strikers, are seen as inefficient.

In view of this, strikers strive to score more to live up to their expected roles.

But over the years, the Ghana Premier League has been characterised by some questionable goal scoring runs clouded by some dubious styles the goals are scored to aid strikers to emerge goal kings of the Ghana Premier League.

The recent 4-Goal feat chalked by Hans Kwofie in the last game of the Ghana Premier League against champions Aduana Stars raises more questions about how our players emerge goal kings and why their progress after achieving such feats take dramatic turns.

This is not, in any way, trying to discredit Hans Kwofie for scoring 4 goals against Aduana Stars but it becomes increasingly questionable for a side that had conceded just 21 goals - the third most defensive side in the league - to concede 4 goals in their last league game, moreso when the goals are all coming from a single player.

The dramatic style with which the player banged in the goals and the defensive carelessness of the champions raises a lot of questions about the credibility of our goal kings.

The phenomenon becomes more worrying when these goal kings leave for other clubs outside and struggle to replicate their scoring forms. It therefore becomes no sin if people doubt the credibility of our goal kings at the end of the season.

For many seasons now, most of the goal kings of the Ghana Premier League have struggled to score a double number just a season after their popular goal king winning feat. What goes wrong after their powerful goal scoring prowess? Is it because the GHPL is so weak for strikers to score more or the goal kings are manufactured? What about getting the goal kings to score not less than two goals in the last match of the season in the last five or so seasons ago?

Taking a journey down memory lane with the goal kings of the GHPL in perspective since 2012, each of them scores not less then a brace in the last game but for one.

For the records, it is only former Bechem United striker Augustine Okrah, who scored less than two goals in their final league game with Amidaus Professionals. Even that, he missed a spot kick and could have hit a brace if he had converted.

In the 2012-13 season, a last-minute hat-trick from Mahatma Otoo against Tema Youth saw the Hearts of Oak skipper emerging the goal king with 20 goals. Mahatma Otoo was a fine striker who could have even scored more but the consistency with which the players have been scoring more than a brace in the final game of the season is what makes it jaw-dropping.

Otoo however failed to score a double goal figure in his first season with Norwegian side Songdal FC.

Next came Augustine Okrah the next season. Okrah scored one and missed a penalty against Amidaus Professionals as he won the accolade ahead of Kotoko's Seidu Bancey, who scored 12 goals.

Okrah joined Swedish side BK Hacken but eventually walked off after he failed to play just two games for the side in the Swedish Allsvenskan.

In 2014-15 season, Nathaniel Asamoah, then with Medeama SC, was leading the chart with 18 goals but opted to join Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca and was toppled by Kofi Owusu of Berekum Chelsea after the final round of matches.

Kofi Owusu magically closed in on Nathaniel and toppled him with a brace against Wa All Stars in the last game league of the season to win the goal king title with 19 goals.

Despite Nathaniel' inability to win the goal king, many expected him to transfer his goal scoring prowess into the Moroccan League for Raja. But his contract was eventually terminated for non-performance despite scoring 18 goals in Ghana the previous season.

Isn't it amazingly shocking?

Kofi Owusu after toppling Nathaniel Asamoah with the last minute brace against Wa All Stars joined Egyptian side Aswan SC but failed to also live up to the hype and got his contract terminated. He joined AshGold and struggled to even make it into their starting eleven.

Last seasons, with four matches remaining, Latif Blessing was trailing Yahaya Mohammed by four goals which was reduced to a goal ahead of the final day but the former Liberty Professionals star scored a hat-trick against Bechem United in a 3-0 victory to win the golden boot with 17 goals with Yahaya Mohammed still pegged at 15.

The same trend did not fail with Hans Kwofie scoring 4 past no mean side than the champions of the league to topple Stephen Sarfo of Berelum Chelsea for the award.

Kwofie's four goals saw him finishing as top scorer with 17 goals, same level as his predecessor Latif Blessing while Sarfo rests at 15.

All eyes are on Hans Kwofie now to see how he fares in his next move. Will it be the same old story?

It is not a crime to score more goals but the way and manner with which the goals come and the impact the scorer makes after emerging a champion leaves more questions to be asked.

Are our goal kings credible?

By: Sheikh Tophic Sienu @desheikh1 on twitter