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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Columnist: GHANAsoccernet.com

GPL feature: Falter at home at your own peril

Torrential rains across the country were defied as all eight league fixtures went on as planned. The game in Obuasi was rained off at 1-1 due to poor visibility and unfavourable conditions for association football, but was replayed on Tuesday with Kotoko claiming full spoils with less-than convincing 1-0 win .

Hostilities resumed on Saturday at the Sogakope Red Bull arena as West Africa Football Academy looked to halt the smooth run of in form Aduana Stars. WAFA’s Richmond Lamptey canceled out Sam Adams first half opener to leave it squared at the end of regulation time.

Bolga All Stars secured their first win in the top flight with a solitary goal victory over Great Olympics up north in Tamale.

The Brong Ahafo derby between Bechem United and Berekum Chelsea couldn’t produce a winner as both teams settled for a 1 all draw.

Highly motivated Elmina Sharks recorded their first ever competitive victory at the Nduom stadium pipping Tema Youth football club by a lone goal.

Liberty Professionals and Medeama SC sold out an entertaining 5 goal thriller at the Carl Reindorf park in Dansoman. Bernard Arthur struck twice before captain Samuel Sarfo’s strike sealed victory for the home side after Justice Blay and Francis Addo pegged them back twice.

Inter Allies withstood a last ditch fight back from Ebusua Dwarfs to keep the score at 2-1 and run away with all 3 points.

Hearts of Oak showed resilience and left it late to secure a 2-1 victory over Wa All Stars at the Ohene Djan stadium. Hearts looked to be on course for their first win of the season at 1-0 but a howler by goalkeeper Ben Mensah gifted All Stars the equalizer to heap incessant pressure on Hearts. Fans and players could breath a sigh of relief as captain Thomas Abbey was on hand to head home the all-important winner for the Phobians.

FALTER AT HOME AT YOUR OWN PERIL..

The mantra could not have been any clearer, “Do all you can with all you have to win at home”. Any team to live by and be guided by this mantra is sure staying up for umpteen years to come in the Ghana premier league. With four game weeks already exhausted Aduana Stars stand out as the only team in the premier division to have recorded an away victory. This inadvertently means the league has gone 28 matches with only one team getting maximum points on the road.

But for the 4 games in hand the tally of games would have risen to staggering 32. Much as the game of soccer is not designed to produce away victories at all cost, the scarcity of it renders the game too predictable, unfascinating and compromised to a certain degree.

The hostile and unfriendly nature of most of our match venues do not offer the level playing ground for traveling teams to thrive. Where as football authorities have watched on as brutalities and intimidatory artistry have been employed to win games at home, clubs have subscribed to the status quo in the spirit of vengeance and pay back when it’s their turn to host opponents.

In the supreme interest of the game measures should be put in place to harness the spirit of competitiveness notwithstanding where the game is being played. Teams should as well eschew the habit of not giving off their best just because they are not playing on their favourite turf or in front of their teeming fans.

The technical ensemble must make it a creed to build up their players psychologically to withstand adversity in the wake of hostility and intimidation.

Football fans who have made it a habit to perpetuate barbaric acts and engage in hooliganism to win games at all cost should be brought to book and possibly be banned from centres to create a welcoming atmosphere for neutrals as well as the main actors of the game.

In the absence of such reforms to create a level playing field a key note to all top flight teams is simple; falter not at home lest you put yourself in a perilous state.