Traditional clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and Accra Great Olympics, endured nightmare starts to the 2023/24 betPawa Ghana Premier League campaign, recording outcomes that left their followers crestfallen.
Hearts kick-started the season in high spirit on the back of an impressive pre-season dominance, but they were stunned 1-0 by Real Tamale United (RTU) late in their game at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale.
The Phobians were favourites despite losing a double to the ‘Northerners’ the previous season and were full with ‘anger’ to snatch all three points away from home.
But RTU were in a class of their own, holding the Phobians in what gave an indication of what to expect in the new season.
Despite the several attempts at goal, it was RTU’s Owusu Afriyie who out-jumped the Hearts defenders including their goalkeeper, Richard Attah, to head home a corner kick late into injury time.
Great Olympics, on the other hand had a torrid time with returnees Bofoakwa Tano at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday, eventually splitting the points in their goalless encounter.
The entertaining game saw the visitors enjoy a lion’s share of proceedings, leaving Olympics coach, Daniel Annor Walker, very disappointed.
Bofoakwa dictated the pace of the game from the start and came close to grabbing the opener on the seventh and 19th minutes but striker Clement Ansah wasted the opportunities.
In between those two opportunities, Samuel Ashie Quaye had an opportunity to put Olympics ahead on 12 minutes, but he shot feebly into the hands of goalkeeper Emmanuel Kobi.
And that what the closest the host came to scoring in the first half as Bofoakwa seized the midfield, pinning the ‘Dade Boys’ in their half while missing begging chances that came their way.
Coach Walker introduced Prince Afrifa, Rodney Appiah, Abraham Nissi and Michael Kweku Osei to stop the incessant forays of Bofoakwa into their area.
But Coach Stephen Frimpong Manso responded to his opposite number by bringing on Isaac Baffoe, Leslie Aryeetey, Steven Owusu and Gerrard Ado Zack.
Manso’s changes turned the game on its head as Bofoakwa captured the midfield again in the last quarter of the game.
Addai hit a long range from behind the box which forced Benjamin Asare in post for Olympics to stretch to his elastic limit to push the ball over the line for a corner.
Tried as both sides did, they failed to find the net till the referee of the match, Latif Adaari, brought proceedings to an end.
Great Olympics would next play as guest of Kpando Heart of Lions while Bofoakwa return to the Coronation Park to play Real Tamale United on Sunday
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY