Aduana may end up champions again, and few should be surprised if they pull it off this time
By: Sammie Frimpong
Study the current, post-Matchday 11 Ghana Premier League standings and you’d notice a certain striking oddity.
It isn’t about reigning champions Ashantigold languishing at the foot, neither am I referring to the two newly-promoted sides pushing for Top Four spots. And, no, it isn’t the fact that a side which barely survived relegation last season are leading the 16-team pack.
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More than all those admittedly shocking phenomena, it’s third-placed Aduana Stars who stand out for — wait for it — scoring more goals than any other club at this fairly advanced point in the season.
Incredible but true.
True and real.
For a team that won a first Premier League title back in 2009/10 with a paltry 19 goals in 30 games — no club in world football history has ever been as successful with a goal-per-game ratio so low — Aduana’s tally of 17 thus far in 2016 is astonishing.
Hardly surprisingly, most of those strikes — 13 of the bunch — have come at their Dormaa fortress, with the team typically known for edging games by the narrowest margins suddenly hitting teams for three and four. They’ve only lost once at home all season, against high-flying Wa All Stars during an inauspicious start to 2016, but even that blip was compensated for by a rare victory away in Dansoman. And the freshly discovered scoring prowess hasn’t come at the expense of the club’s renowned defensive solidity, as it boasts the league’s best goal difference (+9) after conceding just eight times.
Few should, however, be awed by these improved numbers in attack. It’s been coming, albeit rather subtly, over the past few seasons. Since that shock title triumph six years ago, the numbers (20, 26, 28, 31) rose till last season’s drastic seven-goal dip. This term, though, the ‘Ogya’ are well on course to seal only the second campaign during which they manage a goal-per-game ratio of 1.0 or more — and it could be their most productive yet.
The experience may not necessarily be rewarded with a second league crown, with other contenders firmly in the race, but if goals are — after points — the chief fuel for bringing in silverware, Aduana are in a better position that they’ve been in since their triumphal ascent to the top-flight.