Hearts' Unbeaten Run In Danger
Wonder Club, Accra Great Olympics, have beckoned all, including the pessimists, to the Accra Stadium on Sunday to witness first hand how they are going to halt the current unbeaten run of city rivals, Hearts of Oak, in their thrilling Kinapharma Premier league derby.
That definitely seems to be a big gamble, but the manner in which the “Dade Boys” will execute this agenda will be the main attraction of this titanic clash.
After 22 demanding games, the defending champions pride themselves as the only team yet to taste defeat. But Olympics have vowed to break that trend this time. Though many will be tempted to dismiss that as a mere bluff, the demands of the occasion might not permit any side to be written off yet.
Naturally, predicting a win for the Phobians is as stating the obvious, especially going by their current classification chart.
However, for Olympics to gather such courage in the face of the odds to declare their intention of beating the pre-match favourites means they have something up their sleeves for their skeptics on Sunday.
The AGOSU boys did the unexpected against Hearts in the first round when Robert Odametten snatched a late equaliser to secure a point for his side.
That was one game which saw Hearts being tagged as the overwhelming favourites, having reduced their rivals to the status of minnows in a Republic Day Cup match which the Phobians won 2-0.
Such has been the nature of encounters between these two traditional clubs which don’t follow any logic, thus making the upcoming duel quite dicey in spite of current performance.
In defence and midfield, both E.K. Afranie and Herbert Addo have the men who can prove equal to the task. The same can, however, not be said of the attack where the likes of Bernard Don Bortey, Ablade Morgan, Nasiru Gani, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour and Wisdom Abbey appear more potent than Amui Quaye, Mensah Pomayie, Robert Odametten and David Offei of Olympics.
Obviously, this is one match Hearts will want to win at all cost as any slip could rock their seventh straight title ambition.
League leaders, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, face no easy assignment either as they play away to Mine Stars at the dreaded Prestea minefield.
Having missed out of continental honours a la APR of Rwanda, it will surely be an unbearable experience for Kotoko to miss the Kinapharma Championship too. The Porcupine Warriors are therefore expected to put the Kigali fiasco behind them and storm enemy territory with the agenda to complete a possible double over the struggling miners who they put at sea in Kumasi with a 4-0 drubbing in a first round clash.
Fourth-placed Goldfields who have targetted to finish among the top four will have another opportunity to improve their points build-up when they play their second consecutive home match against Power FC at Len Clay. One will also not be surprised if this battle ends in a stalemate as was the case in their first engagement at Koforidua.
Third-placed King Faisal who are fast establishing themselves as the third force in Ghana soccer will be too hot for RTU at the Kumasi Stadium in view of their present flashy form, while Okwawu United will hope to ride on the back of the tremendous support guaranteed them at their new Mpraeso haven to secure the three vital points at the expense of visiting Bofoakwa.
At Koforidua, it is going to be a “family affair” when bottom-placed Stay Cool host Liberty Professionals in another interesting match which will be closely-fought.
Struggling B.A. United will strive to win the much-needed three points against Hasaacas at Sunyani, while Heart of Lions who are recovering well after a recent slump in performance could carry the day in their home duel with Arsenals at their Kpando stronghold.