Asante Kotoko crown Champions after 240 games
Accra, May 28, GNA - Asante Kotoko has been crowned champions of the 2011/2012 Ghana Premier League season after a fine spell that saw them amassing 63 points after 30 games in the season that ended at all eight centers on Sunday.
Kotoko's title, their first in four seasons was made sweeter after Richard Yeboah scored in the 59th minute in their last game against Tema Youth on a day that faithfuls of the globular leather gathered at the Baba Yara Stadium for the coronation game.
It's been 30 weeks of football missed with plenty of drama and intrigues that ensured that the relegated clubs could only learn their fate on the last day of the season.
But beyond the drama, Kotoko had a reason to smile because they won the league with almost four games to end the season and with their return to the continental club football assured for next season, the game against Tema Youth was only a formality.
Having won the season with a huge 14-point gap, the Porcupine Warriors lost thrice and conceded 18 times with a defence regarded as the second best will be Ghana's sole representative in the CAF Champions League next term.
By all standards, Kotoko had many reasons to jubilate coming through a season with 18 wins, nine draws and an impressive 43-goal haul on a season where only former Champions, Aduana Stars could come close in terms of the number of goals conceded, 17.
Elsewhere, relegation-bound Wassaman bade farewell to the elite division on a winning note, beating Heart of Lions by a lone goal in a game the outcome was irrelevant to the standings of both teams.
A second half strike by Godbless Asamoah ensured Wassaman left the elite division with the three points in the game played at the Tarkwa T&A Park.
At the Agyeman Badu Park, Liberty Professionals dug deep to pull a late equalizer in their 1-1 draw game with Aduana Stars after Daniel Darkwah had put the homers ahead on 56 minutes before Fuseini Zuberu gave Liberty a point with his strike a minute from time.
At Wa, All Stars dashed Medeama's hopes of finishing second when Major Baah Tetteh's second half effort gave the host all three points. Medeama regardless finished fourth to qualify for this year's Top Four competition.
Finishing second on the trot was AshantiGold after the Miners ended the campaign with a 2-0 defeat of Ebusua Dwarfs 2-0 at the Sekondi Stadium. Mohammed Yakubu scored twice from the spot to beat Dwarfs who were using the Essipong Stadium as home following their home ban.
After finishing second behind Berekum Chelsea last season, AshantiGold hoped to go a step better this spell but could not over take Kotoko after an inconsistent run.
Debutants, Bechem United who finished third from the bottom joined Wassaman United and Mighty Jets as the relegated three of the season.
Bechem United needed a win to give their quest for Premiership survival any hope but a 78th minute goal by Abeiku Ainooson at the Gyamfi Park handed New Edubiase the win to push the debutants back to the wilderness and sum up their sorry run of 29 points after managing six wins, 11 draws and 13 defeats.
But the luckiest club for the season was Berekum Arsenals, who rode on the wings of drama to keep a spot in the league for next season.
Though the heaviest losers on the last day, the Gunners picked four unanswered goals from their net against Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium but a late equalizer by Berekum Chelsea in their game against Mighty Jets at the Golden City Park in Berekum saved their blushes.
Hearts began business early when Captain Osei Bonsu opened the scoring from a penalty in the 7th minute before Mahatma Otoo doubled their lead in the 19th minute.
An own goal by Mohammed Basha in the 31st minute worsened the visitor's plight on a day Hearts fought tooth and nail to stay in the Top Four zone.
From the interval, Ollenu Ashitey scored his debut goal of the season to take Hearts goals on the day to four and lift them to third on the log.
Arsenals had been well beaten and torn apart. But soon, the good news emanated from Berekum in what has been described as a favour to a fellow neighbor by city rivals, Chelsea.
While Arsenals cheered, Mighty Jets mourned. The Jets took the lead at Berekum but could only hang on till the stroke of time when the former champions leveled through Captain Mohamed Abdul Basit to cancel Nuru Sulley's 74th minute opener.