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Sports News of Saturday, 26 June 2021


The defining weekend: How Ghana’s football season could be climaxed

Accra Hearts of Oak will host Asante Kotoko on matchday 31 of the 2020/2021 GPL play videoAccra Hearts of Oak will host Asante Kotoko on matchday 31 of the 2020/2021 GPL

A rare spectacle characterized by uniqueness, competitiveness, drama, and excitement.

The Ghana football season has thrilled and elevated football souls for months.

Following disruption of the football calendar by the pandemic and the Anas expose, the football industry couldn’t have wished for a better season than this.

Fierce competitions across leagues in the lower and top divisions as well as the women’s football division has been a prominent feature of the season and has helped propagate the gospel of Bring back the love.

That joy and excitement will undoubtedly be heightened this weekend when three decisive fixtures are played across the country.

There is the renewal of traditional and generational rivalry in the Ghana Premier League; the growing competition among dominating clubs in the women’s division and the battle between old faces eager to return to the top.

This is the defining weekend for the 2020/21 Ghana football season.

Accra Hearts of Oak vs Asante Kotoko:

Among the three headliners, there is no doubt that this fixture will be the most prominent.

It is garnering attention not just because of the years of rivalry the two clubs share, but also because of the impact this game could have on the title race this season.

As the most successful clubs in the country, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kotoko have shared some memorable derbies. Some thrilling, others boring and uninspiring.

One of the boring ones will of course be the 0-0 stalemate they recorded in the first round of this season.

But with a lot more to play for, this game will certainly be full of thrills.

Both sides are currently tied on 56 points in the Ghana Premier League, and a win could prove crucial for any of the sides.

The Phobians have seen a massive turnaround, in not just their results, but the individual performances of the players since the arrival of Samuel Boadu.

Barnie Afriyie perhaps typifies the change in mentality introduced by the former Medeama gaffer.

He has been lightening the Accra Sports Stadium with delicate touches and skills- exactly what he did against Legon Cities to supply the first goal.

The Porcupine Warriors, however, have not been as expressive and dominant, and clinical as their opponent, with Barreto being at the helm.

However, this might turn out to be one of the best Super Clash fixtures.

Ampem Darkoa vs Hasaacas Ladies:

The finalists for this season’s championship finale are developing a rivalry in the women’s football circles as a result of their dominance in their respective zones and their previous history.

Hasaacas Ladies have been Ghana’s best women’s club team for several years, but that reputation is being threatened by Ampem Darkoa who are growing rapidly as a force to reckon with.

The two sides have met in three finals already, with Hasaacas Ladies winning two and losing the other.

The first encounter saw Hasaacas Ladies defeating Ampem Darkoa 1-0 for the 2014/205 women’s Premier League trophy.

Ampem Darkoa then returned the following season to take revenge as they defeated the same opponent by the same scoreline for the trophy in 2016.

Coach Yusif Basigi’s side will return in 2019 to reclaim the bragging rights by defeating Ampem Darkoa 3-2 for the NC Special competition.

The fixture could also strengthen the debate on which of the zones possess more competition.

A school of thought has posited that Ampem Darkoa went unbeaten the whole season as a result of a lack of competition in the northern zone, and a win or defeat on Sunday could add weight to that discourse.

Real Tamale United vs Bofoakwa Tano

With just 5 games to go in the season the first and second place sides in zone 1 of the Division League could boost their chances of returning to the Premier League next season.

While Bofoakwa currently leads the table with 52 points after 25 games, they are keenly followed by Real Tamale United (RTU) who are on 52 points- serving an interesting fixture for the weekend.

Both sides have previously had a taste of Premier League football and will do all possible to ensure their imminent return.

A weekend to savor…

Such defining weekends do not come around so often, and as we try to bring back the love, let’s savor the moment and enjoy every bit of Ghana football.