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Sports News of Friday, 20 April 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

GPL Preview: Five things to expect this weekend

As we head into week 9, Hearts just need a miracle of sorts, Kotoko are not far behind, either, and WAFA are head-scratchingly dour. As for the incident of heckling that saw a ref beaten, we hope it won’t occur again. Here’re a few things to note before kickoff.

Should William Mensah be an impact player?

The Karela United deputy captain came on as a sub, and made a piece of history for himself. Games against the big boys always present an opportunity to endear oneself. It was not about the number of goals (three) he scored, it was about how he took the chances and the period in which he did it. The 18-minute hattrick put the player on the map.

“I knew I was going to change the game in the second half,” he said post-game. “Most often when I start a game there are ups and downs, but anytime I come in the second half I make a huge impact.”


“The coach told me when I come on I should take the defenders on because he knew what I can do that’s why I took that risk,” he added.

Coach Johnson Smith may just have found his impact sub. For more on Karela's six other key players, get over here.

Hearts, the Leakers

It’s becoming depressing for Phobians. While team form isn’t the best, head coach Henry Wellington continues to be sidelined due to illness. It’s all contributed to low morale in the team camp, following the 3-1 humiliation by new boys Karela in midweek.

The club have only won games in Cape Coast, their home for the moment (2-0 vs Dwarfs, 1-0 vs Dreams and against 3-1 vs Wa All Stars). But they’ve won none away (drew 1-1 in Techiman vs Eleven Wonders, beaten 3-0 away by Berekum Chelsea and the latest drubbing at Ayiniase by Karela).

It wasn’t a surprise they lost because psychologically, Hearts had not recovered from their defeat at home to Sharks. Suffering their fourth defeat of the season and two in a row isn’t going to do the Phobians any good. They must recover mentally from the shocks or else it will get ugly in the subsequent games.

It’s embarrassing to recount that they’ve conceded more goals (13) than anyone else. And that’s the team’s biggest challenge by far – keeping just two clean sheets in eight games puts the problem in stark relief.

The stats show that Hearts are joint-second easiest team to beat in the league by virtue of their four defeats – together with Inter Allies, WAFA and Eleven Wonders. Only Wa All Stars have a worse record, with five defeats thus far.

Next for Hearts: a home game (in Kumasi, for TV broadcast reasons) against Bechem United. Check out our analysis of the next four Hearts games here.

Aminu Mohammed, where are you?

By matchday three, the 17-year old had scored three goals, copped an assist, bagged two man of the match awards and got tongues wagging. He was being touted as the heir-apparent to [insert any legendary Ghana Premier League prodigy here].

Since then, he’s not scored, nor has he assisted. Did the hype get into his head? It appears not. The issue is with a niggling injury which has stifled his role in the the larger team effort, but he’s by no means off colour.

In fact, he got injured against Sharks (matchday 4), missed the next game against Allies in Tema, returned to feature against Medeama (matchday 6), only to aggravate the injury. Aminu has not played since. It’s unlikely he will feature away at Dwarfs this weekend.

Wa All Stars have no reprieve

The situation for the Northern Blues has gone from bad to worse and now it is absolutely unpleasant. The midweek defeat in Fosu Gyeabour to Bechem was their fifth in eight games; three consecutively.

Sarfo Castro has been left scratching his head and hopelessly wondering what he could do to change an already seemingly irrescuable situation. The 2016 champions need something extraordinary to get out of this quagmire. Five points from eight games is just not up to scratch especially this season where everyone is beating everyone.

It is not too late to find their feet but it looks like everyone is running away from them and it would be extremely difficult to catch up. See our analysis of their next four games here.

Kotoko must better away form

The Kumasi giants find themselves in a respectable position on the leaderboard because of their wins at home. Prior to hosting Chelsea, they had won all four games at the Baba Yara by the odd goal.

It is time they stopped relying on home comforts, as they journey to Wa this weekend. Paa Kwesi Fabin has asked for patience as he rebuilds the side, but of more urgency is the inability to win on the road. Wa All Stars, short on confidence and not playing well, is a perfect way to start doing that. The next two away games for the Reds will be at Ayiniase and Dansoman.

Hooliganism tarnished an excellent week of football

For Ghana’s football to grow in leaps and bounds, unruly behaviours from fans must be thrown into the gutters. Irrespective of how you feel about the decisions of a referee, it is completely unacceptable to physically assault him or her.

Referees work hard every time just to make sure they make sound judgements. They are human beings, family members, daddies, uncles and bread winners to begin with. They are susceptible to making errors in the course of the game. No one has made 100% correct calls in his refereeing career (not making excuses here), so fans must understand and move away from physically assaulting a knight of the whistle.

There are so many ways of letting your displeasure to a wrong call known and physical assault must never be one of them. The good news is that, referee Nuhu Liman is alright. Now, Professional league Board would have to find a date within an already tight and congested calendar to reschedule this game, or there wouldn’t be at all. Whatever happens, Ghana football is going to lose.

Note: Sharks vs. Medeama was called off after the referee, Nuhu Liman was heckled as he made his way to the changing room at half time.

TV broadcast schedule.

- AshGold v Allies on StarTimes Mix, Max TV, GTV/GTV Sports Plus.
- Hearts v Bechem United on StarTimes Mix only.
- Berekum Chelsea v Liberty on StarTimes Mix only.