SEAT-BELTS, PLEASE!: GPL TITLE RACE SET FOR EPIC FINALE

The chase for the Ghana Premier League crown is at its fiercest in recent memory and could climax with frenzied drama

By: Sammie Frimpong

Six matchdays to the conclusion of the ongoing Ghana Premier League season, predicting the identity of the would-be winner is no easier now than it was at the term’s commencement six months ago.

Nearly all clubs in the table’s upper half stand a realistic chance of nicking the prize, with only seven points separating leaders Wa All Stars from sixth-placed WAFA. Medeama, in seventh and on the same number of points as the team just above them, do have a potentially priceless game in hand. And even Ebusua Dwarfs, the Cape Coast-based outfit that completes the log’s better-placed octet, are on a streak that has seen them drop just two points in the last 15, and a continuation of that run could spark a remotely probable title challenge. Among the four clubs in the division’s top quarter, the gaps are much slimmer.

top.jpgIt’s perhaps the keenest a GPL title race has been since Aduana Stars barely staved off Ashantigold on a tie-breaker back in 2009/10. The next edition saw Berekum Chelsea beat Kotoko — the best among the chasing pack — by ten points, before the rampant Porcupine Warriors themselves picked the crown with a 14-point advantage over Ashgold in the following campaign. 2012/13 saw a closer-fought contest, as Kotoko retained the crown by just three points. A season later, Kotoko’s third successive conquest had them dominant once again, eight points above everyone else. And when, as occurred five seasons earlier, Ashgold and Aduana went neck-to-neck again, the former turned the tables, finishing a good six points better.

But this — this is shaping up to be a bloodier battle than had been imagined. It’s certainly not because the the main protagonists have been unusually brilliant this time; none has won even half of their games and rather seem comfortable playing to their strengths — Hearts strong on the road, All Stars and Aduana licking up points at home, with Kotoko‘s form ebbing and flowing in a manner that’s surprisingly proven efficient thus far.

The eventual victor may not be the most dominant or best-performing in recent years, but they would deserve it no more — or less — than the losing competitors, unless the margins get much narrower before the climax. And that could start happening come mid-week on Matchday 25, when first hosts third, second visits fourth, and fifth plays sixth.

Tag it #SuperWednesday — and call this a ‘superseason’, maybe!

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