Soccer News of Wednesday, 12 April 2006
Accra, April 12, GNA - Liberty Professionals will have their work cut off for them this Sunday as they face inform Kpando Heart of Lions in the second round of the GT Special Knock competition at the Dansoman Carl Reindorf Park.
Liberty who are joining the competition at the second round stage will have to dig deep into their reserves to dispose off the red-hot Lions side, boosted by the return of its owner and bankroller, Victor Ahiakpo, who has returned to health after being out most part of last season due to sickness.
Mr K. Ampim-Darko, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association who released the pairings through the GNA Sports said Bofoakwa would face Ashgold at Sunyani, Liberty clash with Lions at Dansoman, Feyenoord against Hasaacas at Swedru and Power meet Sportive at Tema in a local derby.
The matches enters the second round on Sunday, April 16 with kick-off time at 3.00pm at all the venues.
To demonstrate their readiness to scale over any opposition that lands on their path this season, Lions thumped Real Tamale United (RTU) 4-1 in the first round to make their intensions clear. In Coach Hans Van de Plume, who is having his second stint at the Club, Lions have a tactician ready to make his claim of silencing his critics.
But all said and done, Liberty though lost some of their key players like skipper Mustapha Essuman and Stanley Afedzie after the last soccer season, the Club still has what it takes to tame the Lions more so when the match is being played at their backyard.
Even though Liberty have been quite during the preseason, they have chalked some significant victories against clubs like Ashgold and with the right strategy, trust the Jones Attuquayefio boys to progress into the third round.
Another enthralling encounter awaits soccer fans in and around Sunyani as their darling club, Tano Bofoakwa sort things out with Ashgold for their right to play in the third round.
Ashgold who have not been good travelers in recent years, have shown early signs of reclaiming their past glory of the 90's, which saw them dominate the local scene.
It appears Coach David Duncan is finally hitting the right notes as his side is dominated by players who featured in last year's World Under-17 Championship in Peru.
Ashgold have already toyed with the two glamorous Clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko by beating them comprehensively and as to whether they have what it takes to add Bofoakwa to their growing casualty list is left to be decided with time. Bofoakwa Tano, smarting from their penalties win over Kade Hotspurs will not entertain anything from the Miners especially playing in front of their darling crowd.
At the Swedru Sport Stadium, the twinkle- twinkle little stars of Gomoa Fetteh, Feyenoord will test the strength of Sekondi Hasaacas when the two sides clash in the second round.
Hasaacas even without their top striker, Moses Andoh who joined Hearts in the closed season, managed to beat Okwawu United at Nkawkaw by a lone goal and this should send early warning signals to the home team. Coach Arday and his boys will therefore have to play at their very best if they want to remain in the competition that is designed to keep the Clubs busy before the start of the season, which commences well after the World Cup finals.
Completing the second round matches would be the Tema derby between Real Sportive and Power, which promises fire works.
Though Sportive appear to have the edge in local derbies, Power appear to be a re-energized side as they demonstrated against Ebusua Dwarfs when they beat them 6-2 in the first round.
The four winners from the second round matches would then progress to the quarterfinals to face the four top clubs in the GT Premier League last year. (Hearts, King Faisal, Kotoko and Berekum Arsenal) This Special Knockout competition is being organized by the Professional League Board to keep the Clubs busy during the long preseason break.
It involves all the clubs that participated in last year's Premier League.
The first round saw the bottom eight clubs slugging it out for the right to face clubs that finished between fifth and eighth in the second round. 12 April 2006