REVIEW: GPl’S Match Day 24

Away wins for teams that had been starved of them.

Away wins are precious as they come. They make champions and hurt contenders who fail in a quest to pick up the points. Olympics are still 15th on the league log but they won’t go down without a fight. On matchday 24, they picked up 3 points on the road as they beat Inter Allies by a goal to nil. It was a first away win for the Dade boys since they beat whipping boys Bolga All Stars in Tamale on Matchday 4. The last time they won an away game before the match day 4 fixture was on the 22nd of March 2015 against Liberty Professionals. Away wins are really hard to come by for the Dade Boys. Olympics will definitely want to build on it.

Berekum Chelsea fans can heave a sigh of relief. They went to Tamale and beat Bolga All Stars by 4 goals to nil. It was the first in 30 away matches for the Blues. That win came at the Baba Yara Stadium in July 2015. Chelsea’s win has taken them to 6th on the log just two points behind Kotoko who have 2 games in hand.

It was Nicholas Gyan a few weeks back. Then it switched Bechem United’s Ahmed Toure. Now it looks like in form Hearts midfielder, Thomas Abbey is the man of the moment. His brace for Hearts at the Accra Sports Stadium against Tema Youth ensured that his goal tally increased to 12, level with Toure who fired blanks last weekend. Thomas Abbey in many ways is Hearts of Oak’s crown jewel. He has scored 12 from midfield fro Hearts who are slowing making late surge to their first premier league title in 8 years. Aside from registering his name atop the scorers list, he also picked up the Nasco man of the match award- his fifth of the season. The other on the list include, Joseph Paintsil, Stephen Sarfo and Medeama’s Bernard Ofori.

The league now looks like a straight fight between Aduana and WAFA- but in the rearview mirror, Hearts of Oak are chasing. WAFA who have been in terrific form this season have broken so many jinx about their game. They had not won in 27 away meetings but it was a woeful statistic they corrected. Now they are in the mix for the title with Aduana Stars who seem to be in and around every title race since 2014. Aduana won the league in 2010 much like how Leicester did in the EPL and have since become a threat every season. The Bono Ahafo side have won 12 out of the 24 matches they have played and drew 8. WAFA on the other hand have played 22 games with 13 wins, four draws and five losses with 2 outstanding games against Ashgold and Kotoko to play. Aduana can only begin to celebrate only if WAFA lose all two games- but if they do, it still wouldn’t be the end of it all.

These days, there isn’t a relegation battle without Olympics in the seemingly bizarre potpourri. The Agosu boys always find themselves in this spot. But this season, they vowed not to go down without a fight. Coach Tom Strand after the game they won at Allies said “We should’ve scored more but my players have a problem with finishing and that’s what we are working on. We do not like where we are on the table and want to change it as soon as possible”. Olympics won a first away game since 2015 last Sunday in a quest to avoid the drop. There have been internal squabbles, coaching feuds and lack of support that have all hampered the team’s progress. Nonetheless, they want to put all that behind them and make a good charge to stay in the top flight. Olympics have 26 points from 24 games. Ashgold will also hope the rest of the games take the form it took in the last seven games and they might just stay.

Superstition’s not lost in the Ghanaian game

If you think it is 2017 and therefore our game has gone past being superstitious well you might be mistaken. Last Sunday, while a sect of Medeama fans mulled over two dropped points at the Tarkwa TNA park, another set decided to blame the loss on what they believe is voodoo planted on their field. The fans simply cannot believe why they perform so well away from home and capitulate in home games where they are expected to perform well. It’s all quite laughable really because the Mauves last loss at home was on Match Day 18 where they lost 1-0 to Ashanti Gold. Since then, they have hammered teams at home including Berekum Chelsea and Tema Youth. Whatever the issues are in Tarkwa, we all hope it gets under control as quickly as possible.

The writer is a sports journalist with MG (TV3, 3FM & 3news.com)

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