League Report of Thursday, 8 November 2012
Source: Gary AL-SMITH
Sunday’s expected thriller between Kotoko and Hearts will be the 97th league match between two giants has a curious stat. They’ve each won 32 games, and drawn the fixture 32 times.
Since the inception of the league in 1958, it’s been the headline grabber, with titles usually decided by the outcomes of the game. This year will be quite different, as the fortunes of the two are markedly divergent.
Hearts of Oak’s problems have been well documented since the season began. It’s become so serious that the state-owned Graphic Sports are reporting the wish of the team’s owners to sell to anyone interested in the beleaguered giant.
"We are ready to transfer ownership of the club, if anybody is prepared to buy it from us,"Afenu Apigii, an assign of board chairman Togbe Afede XIV said.
There is no such issue with Kotoko, who are enjoying the beginnings of a good patch after a panicky start. But even at the time they were not winning, the reds played attractive football.
At the centre of the orchestra is Michael Helegbe, whose consistency was recently rewarded with a call up into the local Black Stars.
"It's very nice that the authorities have noticed my performances and called me up, I'm very grateful. It's a challenge to me. I have to fight hard and get a place in the main Black Stars and if I do well and it happens that I'm invited, I will be delighted to be part of the team," Helegbe told Happy FM on Monday.
Helegbe will be pivotal in this weekend’s game, which will be the 46th time the two will clash in the league in Kumasi – the reds have won 18 of those, two more than the Phobians.
The buildup continues, in unparalleled fashion, on supersport.com until kickoff at 3pm local time on Sunday.
Kotoko have played at home to Hearts, in theory, 46 times. Although, the games include the 1961 match that ended 1-1, which was played at Nkawkaw and the 2006/2007 season game which was played in Cape Coast and Kotoko lost 0-1 to Hearts of Oak. Hence, the actual total League matches played at the Baba Yara between Hearts and Kotoko are: 44 (18 wins for Kotoko, 15 wins for Hearts and 11 drawn games).