The Ghana Premier League returned at the weekend with huge expectations this season.
Berekum Chelsea hit the headlines with an all-round performance to signal their title intent and champions Asante Kotoko put up a stale display at home.
Hearts of Oak failed to take advantage in the delayed match against a resilient Tema Youth side as the Phobians left the Tema Park with only a point.
Elsewhere, Aduana Stars and Medeama SC sent out an early warning message to the other clubs by starting the season in full gear.
The season already looks like it might produce some new stars who shone on Week 1.
GHANAsoccernet.com’s Ghana Premier League expert SADDICK ADAMS picks his team of the week after the opening day fixtures.
GOALKEEPER- OFORI ANTWI ERIC, AMIDAUS PROFFESSIONALS.
The youngster made a clutch of important saves in the game at the Baba Yara Stadium to frustrate the defending champions.
Uncharacteristically remained resolute throughout the match and organized his defence very well to keep the array of Kotoko’s attackers in check and kept his side in the game throughout.
The 19 year old capped his Man-of-the-Match premier league debut with a decisive save to deny Nurudeen Ali’s header with 5 minutes to time.
A clean sheet at the Baba Yara stadium says it all really.
LEFT BACK- HASSAN MOHAMMED, RTU
The old boy still got it. He was making searing runs down the flank in the 2-2 draw with Ashgold.
The ex Hearts skipper delivered a performance as just what was needed to quench the Tamale fans thirst for premier league football.
Intermittently switched with Michael Boakye just to keep Ashgold’s Aminu Mohammed and Louis Agyeman at bay.
Hassan made a timely goal-line clearance to prevent David Telfer’s 68th minute shot and started the attack that yielded the Northerners first goal through Kwamena Emmanuel.
CENTER BACK- JOHN ASHONG, ADUANA STARS
The ex Ashgold defender had day to remember at the Wa Park.
The towering center back marshaled the Aduana defence and never gave the upper West side a sniff in the pulsating first half.
Ashong was always spotted in the opposing goal area and nodded home the equalizer from a well rehearsed corner kick.
CENTER BACK- KWABENA ADUSEI, KOTOKO
You will never see three sweeter tackles from a centre-back in the top flight than the ones the former Medeama defender produced against Amidaus.
Adusei has unexpectedly gelled so well into the Kotoko set up and usually times his tackles and possess such and unrivalled aerial ability.
To me, he’ll make the Kotoko fans forget about Awal Mohammed earlier than expected.
RIGHT BACK- ALHASSAN MOHAMMED, KING FAISAL
When Coach Steve Abugri started his post-match interview, he talked about his side’s self-belief in his team and also had some exciting words for this young man.
Alhassan might as well be one of the many talents to pass out from the Grunzah outfit after his debut display.
Never seen a defender so calm and gentle yet very solid. When I watched him against Hasaacas in the promotional play-offs, I could see a new Kwasi Appiah in him as he’s also adept in central defence as well.
He overpowered Kennedy Ashia when the onrushing Liberty man was almost through on goal on the hour mark.
MIDFIELD- MOSES ODJER, TEMA YOUTH
This lad has had one cracking season in the Premier League already and looks like he’s about to have another.
Has always had an eye for goal and forced Sammy Adjei to make an early save.
Odjer combed the midfield tirelessly and went foot for foot with Hearts robust midfielder Moro Abubakar.
The Ghana youth star set up Francis Narh with a defence splitting pass for the opener.
Did you know Oijer coincidentally won the man of the match award against Kotoko in last season’s opener and he did against Hearts at the same venue yesterday?
MIDFIELD- YAHAYA MOHAMMED, AMIDAUS
It is never easy when you return to your old stomping ground.
When Yahaya arrived at Amidaus a lot of people wrongly assumed that he had gone there to see out the remainder of his career after he was embroiled with controversies at Kotoko.
Not only did he lead the debutants back to his favourite grounds, he looks like he will be one of the reasons they might stay there.
The midfielder released several of his palm-pinching strikes and controlled the midfield with such dominance. Yahaya was not only a star performer; he behaved like a true sportsman.
MIDFIELD-LARBI COOMSON, MEDEAMA
They say it’s often better second time around and it certainly looks that way for Coomson in his second season for Medeama after having to deal with injuries in his first.
The winger was involved in almost everything Medeama did at Bekwai.
We all know Larbi Coomson has a sweet left foot but I can’t remember the last time a player curved in a corner kick straight to goal but
Larbi just did that against Edubiase and those class act goals always remains the winning goal.
MIDFIELD- PRINCE ATTAKORA GYIMAH, HEARTS
It was a pity that Hearts of Oak didn’t win all three points. He looks like a player who can create openings and also deal with tackles.
Gyimah floated on both wings and cut in several incisive passes and also combined beautifully with Mahatma.
His goal against Tema Youth was textbook midfield play. Anyone who breaks into the box with such determination to slot in such a sublime finish doesn’t just deserve to score but desperately wants to.
FORWARD-LATIFU SALIFU, CHELSEA
Every player needs a little luck on his league debut and Chelsea’s Salifu found Lions goalkeeper Joseph Addo very obliging.
The former Liberty Professionals talisman took a very short time to mark his presence when he bent a 25 yard shot past the Lions gloves man for the opener after a swift interchange with Solomon Asante at the edge of the box.
Thrilled the home fans with his skill and excellent delivery.
FORWARD- DANIEL GOZAH, ADUANA
Many will question his inclusion but when a player steps onto the pitch twenty minutes to time with his side down by a goal, turns the tide, sets up an equalizer and finishes it up with a last minute solo effort for the winner at Wa, a venue many clubs have dared, that is pure magic.
Joseph Addo (Lions), Yaw Frimpong (Kotoko), David Telfer (Ashgold), James Boadu (Berekum Arsenal), Luis Agyeman (Ashgold), Solomon Asante (Berekum Chelsea), Moro Abubakar (Hearts).
COACH OF THE WEEK (ABDUL RAHMAN-ADUANA STARS)