The highs and lows of Match day one of the Ghana Premier League

If Kotoko went to Sogakope with their chest out, I’m sure they went back to Kumasi with their hands at their back.

Kotoko has been earmarked by connoisseurs of the game as one of the favourites to win this season’s league title. They went into Saturday’s opener all confident hoping for the best possible start but things didn’t go their way.

WAFA made their intentions clear 15 minutes into the game when Gideon Waja pulled a fantastic save from Felix Annan in post for Kotoko. WAFA continued to make incursions upfront.

It was one of the attacking moves that ended Kotoko’s Keeper Felix Annan’s day in agony when he reacted the quickest to stop a Samuel Tetteh cross from finding striker Lamptey getting himself injured after colliding with the Academician’s attacker.

The porcupine warriors were forced to make a change in the 26th minute bringing on Eric Ofori Antwi for injured goalkeeper Felix Annan. The free flowing football of John Kila’s men soon yielded results when Man Of The Match Samuel Tetteh flicked a Gideon Mensah pass to release enterprising winger Martin Antwi whose shot at goal was parried by Ofori Antwi only for Charles Boateng to coolly head home what was the 1st goal of the 2015/16 season on the 41st minute.

Before the game headed for recess the Red Army were forced to make another change with Atta Kusi replacing limping Tuffour Frimpong, adding more numbers to the Porcupine Warriors’ treatment table. Three minutes into the start of the 2nd half, Blackstars winger Samuel Tetteh compounded to Kotoko’s plight finishing from a close range after a solo run into the away side’s goal area.

Kotoko tried to finish the game with dignity pushing for a consolation but striker Obed Owusu and midfielder Richard Nyarko wasted the chances that came their way.

Fortunately, for Kotoko they don’t play until a fortnight so they have more time to recover most of the injured players especially strikers Kwame Boateng and Dauda Mohammed who they missed dearly.

One name that will be on Hearts’ fans lips heading into the working week is Samuel. A certain Samuel Tetteh tormented their bitterest rivals Asante Kotoko on Saturday making sure the porcupine warriors returned to the Garden City empty handed. Little did they know another Samuel will make it a double-joy for them. The Phobians recorded a hard fought narrow win over their bogey side New Edubiase courtesy a goal by Samuel Yeboah.

Coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi has been ridiculed by fans and some pundits since taking over the hot seat of Hearts Of Oaks but recent display by the former African champions suggest he is here to prove critics wrong. The first half saw the home side trying to impose their game on the Adansi club but New Edubiase did matched them boot for boot.

One player who stole the show in the opening half is new sensation Samudeen Ibrahim who wowed the fans with his flair, fancy tricks and touches. The Phobia lads returned from recces a different side pinning Edubiase to their half. Yatsuhashi made two important substitutions bringing on Isaac Mensah who added direct runs to their game and the hero of the day Samuel Yeboah who got the all important goal 11 minutes from time to send the partisan crowd into a jubilant mode.

If Kotoko were humbled by WAFA, Aduana were brought back to earth by Inter Allies. The Dormaa club were amongst book makers favourite to win the league heading into the season opener against Inter Allies. Yahaya Mohammed had promised to score a goal returning to his favourite Tema Park where he made name playing for Tema Youths and Amidaus.

The 2009/10 champions started the game trying to get an early goal but all their early attacking moves yielded no result. Inter fought their way back into the game, making some attacking incursions down the right where Lord Ofosu-hene was operating. In the 18th minute they were rewarded when striker Ropapa Mensah headed home an inviting cross from winger Lord Ofosu-hene. Ropapa Mensah turned provider when he played a sweet ‘touch and go’ with Isaac Twum, freeing the diminutive attacker who calmly placed the ball pass goalkeeper Joseph Addo in post for Aduana.

Aduana tried to get something from the game after recces but their best chances came via set pieces. Aduana will take consolation from the fact that their co-tittle favourite Asante Kotoko suffered the same fate.

At Obuasi Len Clay Stadium it was a twin party as the Nuhu twins scored either half of Bernard Ofori’s goal to give defending champions AshGold a 2-1 over Medeama. Alhassan Nuhu scored the opener when his shot at goal detected off Medeama defender Daniel Amoah to beat Muntari Tagoe in post for the Yellow&Mauves. Medeama were awarded a penalty kick in the 41st minute. Bernard Ofori elected himsellf to play, his effort was parried by Robert Dabuo but he reacted quickly to score from a follow.

Medeama were resolute in the 2nd half but the younger of the Nuhu twins, Fuseini grabbed the winner for the miners to kick start their tittle defence.

This is a morale boaster for Ghana’s sole rep in the CAF Champions League heading into their return leg encounter in Algeria against M.O Bejaia this weekend. They did lost to Medeama in the Super Cup a week before the 1st leg and now heading into the 2bd leg they have beaten Medeama

In other games in week one, Dwarfs lost at home to debutants Dreams FC. Johnson Owusu Oppong made it into the history books as the player to have scored Dreams FC first ever goal in the Ghana Premier League.

Another new entrant Techiman City made their Premier League bow with a home win against Berekum Chelsea in a game where Issaka Ibrahim scored against his former club.

Goals from Francis Afriyie and Yaw Andoh made sure Bechem United had a perfect start to the season in a 2-0 victory over Scientific Soccer lads Liberty Professional

Wa Allstars finished week one as league leaders having thrashed Hasaacas 3-0. Maxwell Baako got a brace, the 1sf in this season’s league and Richard Arthur scored the other goal in the game.

#GHPL WEEK_1 RESULTS/STATS/TRIVIALS

Inter Allies [2 – 0] Aduana Stars

[1 – 0] Ropapa Mensah

[2 – 0] Isaac Twum

Techiman City [1 – 0] Berekum Chelsea

Issaka Ibrahim

AshGold [2 – 1] Medeama SC

[1 – 0] Alhassan Nuhu

[1 – 1] Bernard Ofori

[2 – 1] Fuseini Nuhu

Wa Allstars [3 – 0] Hasaacas

[ 1 – 0] Maxwell Baako

[2 – 0] Richard Arthur

[3 – 0] Maxwell Baako

Dwarfs [0 – 1] Dreams FC

Johhnson Owusu Oppong

Bechem United [2 – 0] Liberty Professionals

[1 – 0] Francis Afriyie

[2 – 0] Yaw Andoh

Hearts Of Oaks [1 – 0] New Edubiase United

Samuel Yaboah

WAFA [2 – 0] Asante Kotoko

[1 – 0] Charles Boateng

[2 – 0] Samuel Tetteh

All 8 games produced a winner with no stalemate

There were 7 home wins and 1 away win.

Week one produced 15 goals, 13 by home clubs, 2 from away clubs.

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