As the league takes its penultimate fixture this weekend, intriguing scenes are bound to unfold at the various league centres. Fights against relegation and for the top four places are fierce and anxiety levels are high. Hearts of Oak and Kotoko have both secured their standing as the top two sides but that is where our attention will be this weekend aside from the bottom clubs.
Accra Hearts of Oak are on the cusps of their first league title since 2009 when they beat the same rivals to the honour with 3 points. The Phobians and Porcupine Warriors accumulated 52 and 49 points respectively after 30 rounds of matches. The league champions who earned a slot to represent the nation at the CAF Champions League withdrew citing a lack of financial power to compete in Africa’s premier club competition.
Kotoko would however participate in that season’s tournament. Today’s league match could hand the title for the former Champions League winners ahead of the final week if they manage to beat city rivals Liberty Professionals. A slip at Liberty could turn the tide against them and give rivals Asante Kotoko who will take on Bechem United at the same time today as Hearts to mount a late challenge for the title.
Hearts of Oak have not lost a league match since their 2-0 defeat to Dreams in week 22 and since won 8 of 10 matches played. The two draws came against another city rival Great Olympics and Ebusua Dwarfs last week. This will be a somewhat encouraging piece of stats for supporters and sympathizers of the rainbow club but as they are also aware, a derby is unpredictable and anything is possible.
Liberty Professional meanwhile are in the hunt for safety and would fight for the points to avoid the drop. They have picked up the broken pieces and are mounting a serious challenge to finish in the safe zone and have won their last two matches in a row following a 1-5 defeat to Ashanti Gold three weeks ago.
Samuel Boadu and his Phobians know too well to be complacent at this very crucial time of the season and having been praised for his man-management skills that have turned the fortunes of the Rainbow club around, he would want to finish the season on a high. The young coach has within a short time in charge of the club endeared himself to the fans and many followers of the league and that would surely count as he prepares his troops out today.
A win for Hearts of Oak and they can celebrate their victory in front of their fans else they would have to get calculators to do the maths should they slip and Kotoko beat Bechem United.
But as they say “Never Say Die Until The Bones Are Rotten”, they will fight for what is certain to be theirs.