A tale of two coaches
Accra, May 1, GNA - The pundits dubbed it "a battle of equals" but in the end, it was Liberty Professionals coach, Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio who smiled all the way home whilst his opposite number, Mumuni Gamel of RTU could only count his losses.
Sunday's 5-1 drubbing suffered from the hands of Liberty has sobered Coach Gamel whose pre-season's threat to record a massive improvement in his away record as he called on all the 15 clubs to be wary of that threat.
With the results marking his heaviest defeat since taking over the reign of the Club some ten years ago, the German trained Gamel told the He was forced to eat a humble pie when quizzed about his pre-season threat saying "our hopes were high but from the look of things, I would need to work above myself to be able to accomplish the dream".
The coach had relished a place in the first four to qualify his team for the prestigious Ghana League Clubs Association's (GHALCA) Top Four competition next season.
Though the coach now sees the ambition as a tall order, he insists, "A couple of players let us down today. We intend to sprint back in a manner which will surprise all with the inclusion of two recruits we intend registering this week".
The "Pride of the North" has amassed four points in four games with two losses, a win and a draw and are scheduled to host AshantiGold in their match five at the Kaladan Park.
For Coach Attuquayefio it is all well and good that things have began shaping up after weeks of practice towards the desired results. "It has been tough all the way and it's very refreshing that today the boys translated whatever we learnt at training on the field".
Like coach Gamel before the season, the former Hearts coach is relishing a place in the final four, which makes him a sure candidate not only for the Top Four, but the Confederation Cup as well. Though he is envisaging a competitive season, the Liberty coach believes his team's desire for honours which saw them recruiting Asante Kotoko's Michael Osei and cutting short his romance with the Phobians would be spiced with hard work and perform wonders.
The 2000 African Best Coach was hopeful his team would keep their composure in the coming days as the season gathers momentum in his quest to prove a point yet again.
At the Accra, Liberty Professionals on Sunday walloped the "Pride of the North", Real Tamale United (RTU) 5-1 in the fourth week GT Premier league match at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.
Having lost their last game, Liberty Professionals were the more determined side at the start of proceedings and drew more strength from the inclusion of two former Kotoko players, Micheal Osei and Daniel Yeboah who had their efforts complimented by Michael Helegbe, who had just returned from trials in Norway to record the highest score line so far.
Osei and Yeboah were the biggest signings of Liberty this year after their former Club decided to off load them.
Yeboah's presence can be described as "return to base" since he was transferred from Liberty to Kotoko two seasons ago, however the two strikers brought much influence into the game of Liberty as Yeboah did a lot to stabilise the midfield of his side with Osei being a constant threat to the defence of RTU but was unlucky to get his personal goal.
In spite of their dominance the home team had to wait till the 44th minute of the game to open the scores through Helegbe, who connected a perfect cross from Hanson Agyemang after they had dominated the last quarter of the first half.
RTU returned into the second half strongly and managed to secure the equalizer through their inspirational player, Hamza Mohamed when he beautifully converted home a free kick past Liberty's keeper in the 52nd minute of the game. The equalizer served as booster for the visitors as they mounted more pressure on Liberty in a bid to take the lead but this was short-lived as the home team took control over the game again. Liberty restored their lead in the 57th minute when skipper Mustapha Essuman capitalized on a poor marking on the part of the RTU defence to tap in a cross from former Ashgold wing-back Eric Boakye. Liberty from then never looked back and consolidated their lead with what can be described as the best goal of the day from the foot of Stanley Afedzi in the 61st minute, when he delivered a long drive just after outside the "18" yard box through a set-up by Osei, who enjoyed a perfect partnership with Helebge in attack. Essuman replicated the goal scored by Afedzie in the 76th minute by receiving services from Osei who once again terrorized the RTU defence before setting up the skipper to increase his personal tally to two. Substitute Kofi Nti Boakye sealed the doom of RTU in the 90th minute from a goal-mouth melee.
Coach Cecil Jones Attuquayefio in a post match interview with the whilst Mumuni Gamel was disappointed by the outcome of the match and the performance of his boys.