Oly dare Hearts in Accra …as Kotoko are crowned champions
The battle for survival will get hotter this weekend when the 2021/22 Ghana Premier League (GPL) reaches the penultimate stage tomorrow.
With Kumasi Asante Kotoko looking forward to their coronation after their late kick off game against relegated Elmina Sharks and the mouthwatering clash in Accra between Great Olympics and Hearts of Oak, fans attention will switch to the fierce fight to determine which two clubs join Sharks to the ‘Dessert’ or ‘Wilderness’ of Ghana football.
Elmina Sharks are already relegated. They will bid farewell officially in front of their home fans next week.
But three others including Eleven Wonders, Real Tamale United (RTU) and WAFA would battle it out for the last two slots to the Division One League (DOL) next season.
But Wonders did themselves some good to give their survival bid some boost when they defeated Accra Hearts of Oak 2-1 in an outstanding game on Wednesday.
That makes Wonders’ travel to Sogakope to face WAFA tomorrow the toughest clash of the round and promises to be full of fireworks.
WAFA’s position is precarious but a win could breathe some life into the campaign, heading into the final day.
Wonders mid-week win, secured in the last minutes of the game, could prove the ‘game-changer’ and are motivated by the win over Hearts to pull all three points against the Academy lads.
They would surely count on a rich home advantage to clinch a win to also avenge the first round defeat in the hands of Wonders.
The ‘Pride of the North’, RTU, also face a similar situation ahead of a dicey duel against King Faisal at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale.
The Tamale representatives currently lie 16th on the league table with 35 points; just two behind Wonders, and would have to grind a win for themselves and need a favour from WAFA to beat Wonders.
King Faisal appear to have moved away from the relegation zone but must avoid a defeat in the last two game, lest they be dragged into the relegation battle on the final day.
The relegation fairytale notwithstanding, the weekend would be lightened by the clash between local rivals Accra Great Olympics and Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Both teams have gone winless in the past two weeks and would want to make amends by emerging victorious in a game that hands the winner the city’s bragging rights.
Hearts’ dominance in this rivalry seem to have halted in the last two seasons; a period the Wonder Club has recorded two wins and a draw in their last three match-ups.
With an experienced and a more formidable squad made up of former Ghana internationals Gladson Awako, Sulley Muntari, Samuel Inkoom and in-form striker Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and Kwadwo Obeng Jr, Hearts would be expected to brush aside the bluff of their rivals.
But Olympics will display that strong character in such high profile games to make things difficult for the Phobians as both play for pride and bragging rights.
Once again, Coach Annor Walker will rely on trusted faithful like Raymond Grippmann, Philip Sackey, Ibrahim Sulley, Maxwell Abbey Quaye and Samuel Ashie-Quaye to do the damage.
In other games, Medeama play Accra Lions at the Akoon Park, Legon Cities host Karela at El-Wak, Aduana against Bibiani Goldstars, Berekum Chelsea face Dreams FC, AshGold host Bechem United at Obuasi and Kotoko against Elmina Sharks.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE