Relegation battle hottens up in Ghana; Aduana Stars, King Faisal fight to stay top
By Patrick Akoto
The Ghanaian top-flight gears up for the tightest relegation battle in the Premier League history as the curtain is brought down on the season on Wednesday.
The fate of Amidaus Professionals and Ebusua Dwarfs have been decided, leaving one team to join them in the second-tier league next season.
As many as seven teams including Berekum Chelsea, Liberty Professionals, New Edubiase, Bechem United, Medeama, Aduana Stars and King Faisal have a fighting chance of clawing themselves to safety.
Aduana Stars and King Faisal especially will be anxious to win their respective home games against Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea respectively and hope other results go their way to stay afloat.
The current mood at Dorma Ahenkro couldn’t be further from the euphoria felt a couple of years ago when they won the Premier League title in the debut season in 2009.
Fast-forward to the present day and the sense of impending doom has overridden the optimism.
After recording 12 defeats and seven draws, the runs seem to have finally taken their toll, with their last game against champions Asante Kotoko looking tricky.
Kotoko have vowed to beat them at their own backyard and ensure they condemn them to the second-tier.
The two clubs are not the best of friends with a huge sense of revenge on the minds of the Porcupine Warriors to be merciless against their ‘enemies’.
An unlikely win away at Heart of Lions has given King Faisal a fighting chance that seemed to have disappeared after a crushing home defeat to Liberty Professionals.
The win on the road was their first in the league and they will need to pick up the maximum points in their final game against another relegation contender Berekum Chelsea at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi.
Both Aduana and Faisal are locked on the same points and will need to win their last game at all cost to ensure Berekum Chelsea are sent home packing.
Hasaacas, All Stars and Inter Allies are safe but will be cautious in the last game as the head-to-head rule will apply in the final analysis.
They are all on 40 points each with All Stars hosting Liberty Professionals at Wa. A win for Liberty will see them leapfrog them on the table.
Ashantigold will maintain their top-four status if they manage to negotiate their tie against second-placed Heart of Lions.
Lions failed to secure their champions League spot after surprisingly losing 1-0 at home to King Faisal. With Hearts breathing down their neck, they must at least pick up a point to ensure they qualify for Africa’s elite inter-club.
They have head-to-head advantage over Hearts and therefore a win or worst a draw will ensure their passage.
Hearts themselves host New Edubiase in another explosive contest at the Accra sports stadium. Edubiase are aware defeat to the capital-based side could prove disastrous despite lying 9th with 39 points.
Relegated Amidaus Professionals and Ebusua Dwarfs host Bechem United and Inter Allies in their last game in the top-tier.