GPL log at week 28
With no clear favorite to win it all in sight yet, GPL penultimate games will come on in midweek style tomorrow with the stage set for an exciting photo finish to the season as Aduana Stars and Wa All Stars square off for the top spot with Aduana eying revenge as they try to avoid being swept by Wa All Stars after losing to them at home in the first round. And, 3points out of contention Hearts of Oak will look to get back in the title race with a very slim chance that can do with some divine intervention from the ‘soccer gods’. On the bottom end, the pulsating quest to avoid relegation will likely end on the final match day of the season as we seem to have 5 teams awash in the relegation pool - 3 of them tied on 34points for the first relegation spot and needing to up their game to avoid the fate of relegated New Edubiase. More so for Hasaacas who have 33points and for now seem to be in a deeper hole.
Captivatingly, the ‘soccer gods’ could not have presented avid Ghanaian soccer fans with a better two game schedule to close out the season with Hearts of Oak having a slim shot at the title despite all the blown opportunities as the top two teams in the land who are tied for the lead duke it out at Wa’s Malik Jabir Park in the topmost encounter of the day for the right to take full control of the summit with the loser likely falling out of the chase and Hearts of Oak having the perfect opportunity at home to inch closer to the top if they can tame Medeama SC in their second straight game under the guidance of interim coach Yaw Preko. Fourth placed Asante Kotoko will have their hands full as guests of relegation entangled AshGold who need the win badly to assure their stay in tier-one soccer.
The other topmost encounters of the day will be fought on the bottom of the log between relegation engulfed Inter Allies and Liberty Professionals, Techiman City and Hasaacas, Dwarfs vs demoted New Edubiase with the winners of these encounters likely to survive.
Elsewhere, WAFA will host B. Chelsea with both teams needing the win badly to distance themselves from the brewing relegation battle below them, and same goes for Dreams FC who will attempt to avoid a third straight loss as guests of the red hot Bechem Utd.
Dwarfs vs New Edubiase – Cape Coast
From the PL cellar, to the middle and now back into the relegation throes Ebusua Dwarfs will have another shot at saving their season as they play host to relegated New Edubiase who have nothing to play for competitively in this one, except perhaps wreak havoc for the sake of companionship.
A must win game for the Crabs who just made it back to the premiership this season, are tied for the first relegation spot on points with two other teams and have lost their last three games - 2 at home and one on the road. They seem to have the easiest schedule of the three and they need to capitalize to have a shot. Head to head Edubiase has taken 3 of the 5 clashes and it’s time Dwarfs evened things up.
AshGold vs Kotoko – Obuasi
10th placed and 2points off the first relegation spot struggling dethroned PL champions – AshantiGold – will have the chance to rebound from this past weekend’s 2-0 road beating at the hands of B. Chelsea and to get their relegation survival hopes on course with a victory over rivals Asante Kotoko.
Kotoko ended whatever slim title hopes they had remaining after allowing their hosts – Medeama SC – to climb back into the game for a tie with 7 minutes to go, and the usual competitive atmosphere when these two slides clash is just not there given the directions the two sides are headed this year.
The onus however remains on AshGold to go for nothing short of the win at home where they are undefeated this second round to avoid falling deep into the relegation brouhaha than they already are.
Head to head, they have split their last 5 meetings with a draw in between. AshGold will likely risk relegation with a loss or a tie.
WAFA vs B. Chelsea – Sogakope
A clash between two teams who look deceptively to be out of the relegation problems but nevertheless need to win to be assured of safety. Chelsea is coming off an impressive 2-0 home win over AshGold whilst their hosts are riding a 3 game non-winning run and need to get back into the winning column at home where they are unbeaten this season for their own safety.
Head to head B. Chelsea has won twice as against WAFA’s one in the 3 meets between them. A tough and uncompromised game awaits as B. Chelsea will like to at worse leave with a point, something WAFA cannot afford in this clash.
Techiman City vs Hasaacas – Techiman
One of the topmost clashes of the day with the loser quite likely signing off on their relegation papers as the two sides lie uncomfortably in the grips of relegation. Hasaacas 15th on 33points and Techiman 34points on 14th, a loss will likely throw the loser deeper into the relegation hole.
On paper, it looks like a win for Techiman despite losing some of the brilliant shine they have at home recently given Hasaacas’ poor record. But, they cannot afford to underrate the Hasmal Boys who have their backs against the wall and turned in a brilliant road performance at Medeama recently only to end up picking up a point after going up by 2 goals.
Both sides will definitely be inspired to go for the win given the stakes as Hasaacas looks to build on this past Sunday’s 2-1 home win over WAFA and the Citizens look to bounce back from their 4-0 humiliation at Aduana. Head to head, Hasaacas won the only clash between them 4-2 in the first round at Essipong.
Wa All Stars vs Aduana – Wa Park
In the topmost encounter of the day, the two title hopefuls, who are currently tied for the top spot on 48points apiece with Aduana atop will have the chance to match each other boot for boot or mano a mano with the winner perhaps having an easier path to the ultimate prize as Aduana tries to avoid being swept by their hosts after losing the first fixture at home by a lone goal.
The two contenders are coming off different trajectories this past weekend, Wa All Stars losing on the road by a lone goal to cede the summit to Aduana who tortured their neighbors – Techiman City – in a 4-0 rout.
With the chance for their first ever PL title on the line and a second for Aduana, the two sides have enough to inspire them to go all out for the win. Unfortunately for Aduana, their hosts are undefeated at home this full term, but fortunately for Aduana they have proved themselves worthy road contenders in their last four road games, losing once, winning once and playing to two ties against a credible Kotoko and WAFA side and this can be enough motivation, not to mention the revenge factor as they look to pay their hosts back or at worse leave Wa with a point.
Head to head the two sides have 2 wins apiece and a tie between them. Wa All Stars definitely have the advantage playing at home as Aduana tries to avoid being swept this season.
Inter Allies vs Liberty – Tema
In another of the day’s top encounter, relegation embroiled regional neighbors, 12th placed Inter Allies who are tied on 34points with 2 other teams for the first relegation spot will slug it out against 11th placed Liberty Professionals who are just a point away from the first relegation spot. Both teams notched vital wins this past Sunday to improve their chances of avoiding relegation. A match of epic proportions for the two teams who are almost evenly matched with the loser likely falling into the drop zone. Head to head, each side has taken two games out of their last five meets with one ending in a tie. Looks like Inter Allies have the upper hand playing at home but then they cannot afford to sleep on their guests.
Bechem vs Dreams – Bechem
In form Bechem Utd will be looking for their sixth straight win in as many outings as they play host to Dreams FC who will be looking to avoid their third straight loss.
A very promising game for fans as the 8th placed Dreams FC who have 39points look to push above the fail-safe mark of 41points to avoid any last minute final day surprises. For the red hot hunters who hopped in the relegation places for a while, victory may mean a deserving and possible fourth placed finish should they be able to run the table from here on.
Dreams FC won the very first encounter between the two sides, but they will be hard-pressed to do same at Bechem.
Hearts of Oak vs Medeama - Accra
Accra Hearts of Oak will have the chance to rekindle whatever hope they have left of ending their 7year title drought as they host Medeama SC at the nation’s Wembley in a must win big scoreline match and see what providence can do for them at Wa on Wednesday and Sunday.
Both teams have had their title hopes derailed by circumstances within their control; for the Phobians, it’s been their inability to win at home given their more than decent road record as interim coach Yaw Preko goes in search of back to back home wins for the first time this half of the season, and for Medeama it has more to do with recently dropped points at home against Kotoko and Hasaacas.
Victory for Medeama will largely be about a top four finish while a win for the Phobians may represent a chance to move up to the second spot or draw closer in the race in case of an Aduana or Wa All Stars loss or tie. But they must be able to score more than a goal or two in this match, and that is something they have been barely able to do at home or anywhere all season long. A goal or less per game has largely been their lot.
Head to head, Medeama has the edge having won 2 and tied 2 of the last five meetings between the two sides. Hearts stunned the Yellow and Mauves by 2 goals to nothing in their season opener at Tarkwa and they seem to have the advantage in this one playing at home, but it remains to be seen if they can capitalize.
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