Football

GPL: Five talking points from matchday 6

Kotoko beat Dreams 1-0 in Dawu

Asante Kotoko got one over Dreams, Hearts of Oak found a way past King Faisal and Bechem United were victors in top of the table battle with Karela United on matchday 6.

Here are the five talking points:

Asante Kotoko beat Dreams but trouble lingers

Kotoko clinched their second win of the campaign in a laboured fashion. They managed to beat Dreams 1-0 in Dawu but they still have problems ahead.

On Friday, Kotoko announced the dismissal of Maxwell Konadu after the side lost 1-0 to Olympics on Thursday.

Konadu had seen his side struggle this season, clinching one league win in four matches (1W 2D 1L). He had also seen his numbers drop overall since the start of his second term at the club.

In the 2011/12 season, Konadu guided the side to a league title with an average of 2.1 points per game in 30 matches. In his second tenure starting from 2019, the figure dropped to 1.67 points per game in 18 league games.

Also, his win rate dropped from 60% in his first term to 44.4% in his second term.

Shortly after Konadu’s exit, communications manager Moses Antwi-Benefo announced his resignation due to ‘professional and personal’ reasons, signalling disarray in the club.

Their fixtures look difficult too. A doubleheader with Al-Hilal in the CAF Champions League is near and a game against Medeama cannot be taken lightly.

The next few weeks will prove crucial for Kotoko as they search for a new head coach to steady the ship. The Kumasi-based side will be under pressure to please the fans.

The number of sacked coaches increasing rapidly

One week, two dismissals. The first was Maxwell Konadu by Kotoko and the latest is Slavisa Bozicic by King Faisal.

In six games, the Insha Allah boys recorded just one win (W1 D1 L4). They have also recorded arguably the biggest loss in the league so far, a 5-1 pummelling by AshantiGold.

Bozicic was under huge pressure going into the Saturday clash with Hearts of Oak, another side that have faced problems on and off the pitch.

A win was needed for the Serbian but unfortunately, it did not arrive. Despite battling hard with the Phobians, King Faisal suffered a 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

The Kumasi-based club reacted the next day with an announcement of Bozicic’s dismissal.

Bozicic took charge of the club last season and guided them in 19 games. He recorded a win percentage of just 5.26%.

The Serbian joins Barjaktarevic (Legon Cities), Edward Odoom (Hearts of Oak) and Maxwell Konadu (Kotoko) on the sack list this season.

As the season progresses, it is expected that more coaches will receive dismissals if they underperform.

The race for top spot provides a new twist

In the first five matchdays, Karela were dominant. They held top spot for three consecutive weeks, a commendable feat for a side that greatly struggled last season.

However, the mantle has shifted to Bechem, a side Karela recorded their first loss of the campaign to.

Bechem United

Before the game, the two sides had unbeaten records in this season’s competition.

The battle was an intense one but in the end, Bechem took all three points with a 2-1 victory.

Both teams currently have 11 points apiece and Bechem have a game in hand.

With Olympics, WAFA and AshGold gaining steam, it is expected that the race for top spot will be intense in the coming weeks.

Great Olympics rejoin title conversation

After suffering a 2-0 defeat to Liberty Professionals on matchday 5, the title ambitions of Great Olympics became bleak.

Since then, they have been superb. The Oly Dade boys clinched a 1-0 away win over Asante Kotoko in their rescheduled matchday three-game during the midweek, leading to Konadu’s dismissal.

They also recorded a 1-0 victory against WAFA at the Accra Sports Stadium despite finishing the game with 10 men. Annor Walker will surely be proud of his team so far.

On the league table, Olympics lie 3rd with 10 points; just a point behind table-toppers Bechem United.

The Accra-based side also have a game in hand, one they will look to climb to the summit of the table.

It seemed unlikely before this season started but Olympics are making a good case for the title.

Ibrahim Salifu makes an early case for player of the season

Last season, fans saw Justice Blay dominate the midfield with Kotoko. They also saw Victorien Adebayor dazzle his opponents with his dribbling and finishing prowess.

A case could have been made for Yahaya Muhammed as well due to his crucial goals for Aduana.

This campaign, a new star has emerged. His name is Ibrahim Salifu and he features for Eleven Wonders.

The 20-year-old has shown dominance in every match he has played this season and has earned four Man of the Match awards; the most accumulated by any player this season.

The attacking midfielder faces competition from the likes of Gladson Awako and others but he may well clinch the ultimate individual award if he maintains his brilliance.