In August 2014, a new team was rebirthed with Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord rebranding as West African Football Academy.
WAFA, as they would popularly be known as went on later that year to adopt Red Bull Academy’s home ground at Sogakope in Volta Region.
It was the beginning of an era at a new ground that has now become a sanctuary, one that is dreaded by many clubs.
An era which officially began on January 21, 2015 when AshGold visited Sogakope.
Unfortunately, life at Sogakope started on a sour note when a solitary goal by Namibian Petrus Shitembe gave AshGold all three points on the day.
Incredibly, WAFA have managed to put that disappointing loss behind them. The Academy Boys have since not lost an official Ghana Premier League.
Although the Sogakope-based club have lost four games in that period at home, these losses aren’t recognised as part of the Ghana Football Association’s records.
The FA stated after cancelling the 2018 and 2019/20 leagues stated that: “Accordingly, all records associated with the season have been expunged but fines accrued must be honoured by clubs.”
As a result, WAFA’s tally currently sits at 50 games unbeaten at the Red Bull Arena. Here’s a deeper look at the club’s impressive home run:
The Sogakope dominance
Since adopting the Red Bull Arena, WAFA have played 51 games at home in the Premier League (2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017).
Currently on a 50-game unbeaten home run, the club have won 37 out of those 50 games and drawn 13.
To put the numbers in context, out of a possible 150 points, WAFA have picked up 124 points, dropping just 26 points.
Throughout this six-year period, the Academy boys have scored a total of 94 goals in 50 games, averaging 1.88 goals per game.
Despite the team’s silky and smooth football which allows them to score so much, their dominance extends beyond the attack to the defence as well.
WAFA have only conceded 25 goals in these 50 games, amassing to just 0.5 goals conceded per game.
In the 2015/2016 and 2017 seasons, WAFA conceded four goals in each season, showing how compact they were at home.
The Sogakope dominance II
The first part of WAFA’s home form was a more holistic analysis of how well the team has performed over the 50-game unbeaten run.
This part will focus on an annual festival at Sogakope where opponents are dismantled.
Each year, WAFA treat their fans to a goalfest and popular traditional teams have fallen prey.
This season, the victim was Liberty Professionals, one of Ghana’s primitive talent factories. The Scientific Soccer Lads were on the end of a 5-0 defeat at the Red Bull Arena.
Beyond the result, Liberty looked like they just couldn’t match the intensity of WAFA. A complete and dominant performance which could have been worse considering the number of chances the home team missed.
Liberty are not the first victims and certainly won’t be the last. Sekondi Hasaacas were the first recipients of this goalfest after being beaten 4-1 at Sogakope in 2015.
Hasaacas failed to learn their lesson and lost 5-0 in 2016, this time the Sekondi-based side failed to score.
In 2017, the mighty Hearts of Oak were embarrassed as they were beaten 5-0 at the Red Bull Arena.
Though the 5-0 annihilation of Dreams FC in 2018 and the 6-1 thumping of AshGold in 2020 have been removed from the GFA’s records, they just demonstrate the extent of WAFA’s ruthlessness at home.
The darkness away from Sogakope
Logically, any team with the home form of WAFA should have at least one league title in that period.
Unfortunately, a sharp contrast in the performance of the Academy boys on the road has derailed their title charge over the years.
During their 50-game unbeaten run, WAFA have amassed 42 wins in total with 37 coming from home and five coming on the road.
Out of a possible 306 points, WAFA have picked up 124 points at home and interestingly only 28 points on their travels.
This means that out WAFA’s 152-point tally since the start of their unbeaten run, just 18% of the points have come on the road.
The lack of balance has cost WAFA along the years as they came closest to winning the league in 2017 when they finished 2nd.
Finding an average of WAFA’s home position from 2015 till date leaves the Sogakope-based side sitting in 4th spot.
Contrastingly, the Academy boys sit in 10th if you look at the average away table in the league since 2015.
The Red Bull Arena is a fortress, one yet to be breached in the league since its inception. 50 games away and the Academy guys are still going strong.
Perhaps, the team’s over-reliance on their home form has developed over the years into being their backbone.
Half a century games have passed without tasting defeat in the league, the next step for Prosper Narteh and his boys will be a century of invincibility.
For more data analysis on the Ghana Premier League, follow @_owurakuampofo on Twitter.
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